US journalist meets with persecuted UOC communities in Khmelnytskyi Eparchy

11 December 2023 13:23
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American journalist Flavius Mihaies talks to UOC believers in the Khmelnytskyi region. Photo: Facebook page of the Khmelnytskyi Eparchy of the UOC American journalist Flavius Mihaies talks to UOC believers in the Khmelnytskyi region. Photo: Facebook page of the Khmelnytskyi Eparchy of the UOC

Flavius Mihaies came to Ukraine after the UOC's harassment and discrimination and the authorities' attempts to ban it were widely publicised in the American media.

The American journalist, a member of the National Press Club in Washington, Flavius Mihaies, visited the Khmelnytskyi Diocese of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and met with representatives of communities expelled from churches by supporters of the OCU on December 6-7, 2023, which is reported on FB by the press-service of the diocese.

It is noted that Mihaies came to Ukraine and, in particular, to the Khmelnytskyi region, on his own initiative after the facts of persecution and discrimination against the UOC and attempts by deputies of the Verkhovna Rada to ban the Church received widespread publicity in the American media.

The journalist was particularly interested in cases of violation of the right to freedom of religion and interference by the authorities in the activities of religious organizations of the UOC, previously documented by the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine.

Believers told how, as a result of replacing decisions of parish meetings with decisions of territorial communities, there is a re-registration of UOC parishes in the OCU with subsequent forceful seizure of churches.

Also, UOC parishioners told Flavius Mihaies about their repeated appeals to law enforcement agencies, to the State Service for Ethnopolitics and Freedom of Conscience, to the judiciary, which were never responded to by officials.

In addition, the subject of discussion was the draft law No. 8371 aimed at banning the UOC.

The diocese's press service noted that the American journalist "personally verified that the clergy and believers of the Khmelnytskyi Diocese of the UOC unanimously condemn Russian military aggression, provide prayerful, financial, and humanitarian support to defenders of Ukraine. The attendees at the meetings reasonably prove that the unity of the Ukrainian people should be strengthened, not weakened due to speculations on religious factors."

As the UOJ reported earlier, Flavius Mihaies spoke in front of the courthouse in the city of Hertsa in the Chernivtsi region, where the trial against Metropolitan Longin of Bancheny was taking place, and stated that he "witnessed a dire persecution against the UOC."

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