UOC bishop draws int'l organizations' attention to violation of believers' rights in Ukraine
Bishop Viktor (Kotsaba), head of the Representative Office of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC) to the European international organizations, has addressed officials from the UN, the OSCE, the EU and several countries in connection with human rights violations in Ukraine and the threat of escalation of religious conflicts.
"To our great regret, Ukraine's Orthodox Christians have become pawns of the political game of the top officials of the state, who have involved in these processes Constantinople Patriarch Bartholomew, which has already led to numerous conflicts based on religion," the bishop said in his video address released on Monday.
The bishop said the attempt to create a unified local church in Ukraine has led to new contradictions and conflicts.
"The places of worship of our Church, which has a thousand-year history, are now being taken over, the flock are being laid into, and state officials are making the clergy of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church join the 'new Church' supported by the president of Ukraine. The Security Service of Ukraine is summoning our priests for questionings, and our bishops can only go abroad after preliminary questioning and reinforced examination by special state services," the bishop said.