19 January 2017, 15:45
Churches belonging to Moscow Patriarchate in Ukraine attacked 13 times over past year
Moscow, January 19, Interfax - Churches of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC) of the Moscow Patriarchate have been attacked 13 times over the past year, UOC Information and Education Department head Bishop Kliment of Irpin said.
"Only the UOC has been attacked, and the [Ukrainian] Interior Ministry hasn't solved a single crime in this time. Even following a blatant attack on the church in Baby Yar over the summer, when some thugs pelted it with Molotov cocktails, the law enforcement closed the case citing the absence of component elements of a crime, although there is even a video online in which unidentified people attack the church and shout nationalistic slogans," the website of the Ukrainian newspaper Vesti quoted Bishop Kliment as saying.
Some of the attacks took place in Kyiv, including those in which unidentified people set fire to the churches in the Pushkin Park and near the tuberculosis clinic. Moreover, attackers threw Molotov cocktails at the St. Peter Mogila church and tried to set fire to a church on the grounds of a children's infection clinic, he said.
Since the start of hostilities in Ukraine, members of other Orthodox denominations have occupied dozens of UOC churches, including with support from radical nationalists and local authorities.
The UOC attributes the incidents to the Ukrainian leadership's desire to set up a local Orthodox Church in Ukraine by separating the UOC from the Moscow Patriarchate.
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