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Over 60 Churches Hit by Fighting in Ukraine, Russian Patriarch Kirill Demands End of Christian Persecution

ICC Note:

The war in Ukraine has opened the door to Christian persecution, including the illegal seizure of more than 18 churches. 


2/5/2015 Ukraine(Christian Post)-…”In the past year alone, schismatics seized illegally at least 18 churches in the Rivne, Vinnytsya, Ternopol, Lvov and other regions. It should be noted that there were many more unsuccessful attempts to seize churches, which attests not only to schismatics’ persistence, but also to the courage and the firmness of the faith of the Ukrainian Orthodox Christians,” he said.

The Christian Science Monitor noted the religious tensions between the Russian and Ukraine church organizations, and said that the Ukrainian Orthodox-Moscow Patriarchate, which is the Russian Orthodox branch in Ukraine, is losing many members.

Other Orthodox churches in the war-torn country, such as the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, have been providing assistance to Ukrainian soldiers fighting the pro-Russian rebels.

There have been attempts by the different churches to come together in faith, however.

In December, Archbishop Isichenko of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church said: “After wandering in the twilight of empires, the Eastern Churches, like the ancient sages, rediscover the leading star of freedom in Christ. Will the Church be able to get free from misleading patronage of earthly powers on their way toward this dawn — that’s the fundamental question that the year of 2014 has left.”

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