The SBU Massively Summoned Priests of the Moscow Patriarchate in the Rovno Region

Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard


The Security Service of Ukraine summoned priests of the Sarny and Rovno dioceses of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate for questioning. This was reported by the information-educational department of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church on December 1st.

“Summons for questioning by the Deputy Head of the investigative Department of the SBU in the Rovno region Tuz was handed to priests on November 30, 2018,” it is said in the statement on the website of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. In particular, a significant amount of priests of the Sarny diocese and also 20 priests of the Rovno diocese were called for questioning. They “received an agenda about a summons for interrogation as a witness, without any explanation about what they have to testify”.

It is noted that after the resolution on the latest church events in Ukraine was accepted during the Sobor of bishops on November 13 2018, in different regions of Ukraine a number of the provocations directed against hierarches of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate)  took place. “In particular, illegal actions near the residences of the diocesan leaderships and bishops of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church were carried out. In addition, the systematic summoning of bishops of Ukrainian Orthodox Church for a conversation with the SBU has started,” it is said in the statement.

According to the belief of the chairman of the legal department of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church archpriest Aleksandr Bakhov, these actions aim to exert pressure and force bishops to participate in the unifying sobor. The lawyer emphasised that “the listed provocations are a direct violation of the constitutional rights of the citizens of Ukraine and have a pronounced artificial and centralised character, and are not the impartial manifestation of the will of the people”.

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