Bishop Gedeon Was Invited to Speak at the UN and US Congress About the Persecution of the Moscow Patriarchate

Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard

15:30:29
16/02/2019

spzh.news

Bishop Gedeon is sure that the actions of the Ukrainian authorities only confirmed the facts of discrimination against the Ukrainian Orthodox Church [Moscow Patriarchate – ed] that he spoke about the day prior in the US Congress.

After being deprived of his Ukrainian citizenship and forcibly deported from Ukraine, the Abbot of the Tithe Monastery and Bishop of Makarovsky Gedeon (Kharon) intends to speak in the UN and the US Congress about the persecution of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church by the leaders of the state.

“When all this happened I was also called by the US Congress, by different politicians and journalists of CNN, Fox News, and other globally known media,” said the Bishop in comment to the “strana.ua” agency. “It became confirmation for everyone of my words, of the speeches that I had in the US, that in Ukraine there is political and religious persecution. In fact, the authorities of Ukraine have directly confirmed everything that I said”.

The Bishop emphasised that he is 100% a citizen of Ukraine: “This is my country and nobody will change it”. According to him, now he is in the US as a Ukrainian political refugee, and many here simply cannot believe that there is such lawlessness, that they “just insolently confiscate my passport on the border and won’t let me enter my native land”.

“I used to talk about the facts of oppression in general, but now I myself have experienced all of this,” noted the deputy of the Tithe Monastery. “I already spoke in the US Congress, where I was invited by some congressmen, about the facts of discrimination against the canonical Church by the authorities of Ukraine and sent to the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and American congressmen an official statement made by the Ukrainian Orthodox Church [Moscow Patriarchate – ed], in which we ask to consider these cases of the violation of the rights and freedoms of believers. Now they are seeing a living example of human rights violations. And I will now hold meetings here, in New York and Washington, to report the truth about the situation in Ukraine. I was already invited in the United Nations for a speech. I was repeatedly invited in the US Congress, where I spoke about this lawlessness”.

Bishop Gedeon reminded that this whole situation happened on the eve of the hearing of the Supreme Court of Ukraine – where he was supposed to appear as the claimant – concerning the lawsuit against the validity of the parliamentary appeal to the Patriarch Bartholomew about granting Tomos.

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“Most likely, so that I could not appear in court and prove that the Verkhovna Rada had no right to appeal to Bartholomew and is not authorised by the people of Ukraine to do it, the authorities took such measures. Under the Constitution, the Verkhovna Rada has concrete rights and duties. It isn’t mentioned anywhere that the parliament has the right to appeal to Bartholomew. They know their rights very well, but unfortunately they don’t know their duties. And now it became personal, since they didn’t give me the chance to say all of this in court. It is another wave of persecution against the Church. It is inadmissible that a Bishop can be extrajudicially deprived of their nationality and expelled from the country,” said the Bishop of Ukrainian Orthodox Church [Moscow Patriarchate – ed], and hoped that “with God’s help all of us will remain standing”.

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