Bob Amsterdam: UOC is in the crossfire of Russia and its own authorities

28 November 2023 14:35
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The Transfiguration Cathedral of the UOC in Odesa after Russian shelling. Photo: Jae C. Hong/AP The Transfiguration Cathedral of the UOC in Odesa after Russian shelling. Photo: Jae C. Hong/AP

An American lawyer believes that the UOC today is suffering from both Russian military action and persecution by its own Ukrainian government.

The American lawyer of the UOC Bob Amsterdam said in an interview with ‘The European Conservative' that the believers of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church today are caught in this awful crossfirу: on the one hand, their temples are being destroyed by the Russian military, on the other hand, they are being persecuted by their own state.

"It’s really heartbreaking to witness the Ukrainian Orthodox Church bearing the brunt of Russia’s aggression," the lawyer said. “Members of the Church are caught in this awful crossfire—dealing with attacks from Russia and harassment from their own government. And the toughest thing is, as this war drags on, more and more regular worshippers are being unfairly caught up in the rising anti-Russian sentiments within Ukraine."

According to him, " things are bad and getting worse for church members". Therefore, human rights activists "need to act now"

"I fully understand that criticising the Ukrainian government will bring some hesitancy, but we really need countries and advocacy groups to step up, show interest, and get involved in addressing what the church is going through. It’s not just about politics; it’s about people being denied their right to worship, and we can’t let that slide under the radar," said Robert Amsterdam.

As reported, the repression of the authorities against the UOC is reminiscent of Soviet times.

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