19 March 2007, 12:13
The idea of a national Church in Ukraine is an instrument used by opponents to the country’s joining NATO - leader of the Union of Orthodox Citizens
Moscow, March 19, Interfax - Valery Kaurov, leader of the Union of Orthodox Citizens in Ukraine, believes the idea of Ukraine’s joining NATO has been actively used by Ukrainian nationalist groups who would like to propagate their Russophobic ideology through the bloc.
‘The ideologists of Ukraine’s membership in NATO have thrown in the slogan ‘Independent Church to independent Ukraine!’ They intend to make the Ukrainian Orthodox Church a national church fully separated from the Russian Orthodox Church’, he stated in an interview with Interfax.
He believes Ukraine, if she joins NATO, ‘may finally turn into a full-fledged anti-Russian state ’ - the probability the Ukrainian Orthodox Church has strongly opposed.
Kaurov recalls that today the Russian Orthodox Church is ‘the only Moscow-based structure in the post-Soviet space that has remained intact after the USSR’s disintegration’ and ‘a unified spiritual body with a common history, Church Slavonic as its liturgical language and saints very much revered both in Russia and Ukraine’.
‘To cut this umbilical cord is the basic task of nationalistic groups in Ukraine who have used Russophobia as subject of their policy against Russia. The ‘Galician lobby’, who have taken over in Kiev, seeks to impose on the government its ideals which are not shared by the majority in Ukraine, and this frontline goes through people’s hearts’, the chairman of the Union noted.
He also said that it is especially important for the Orthodox in Ukraine that the two branches of the Russian Orthodox Church inside and outside Russia reunite, so that the Russian Church ‘may receive an inflow of fresh blood from the church community which in a situation of diaspora has learnt to preserve its identity in a secular world’.
‘For us in Ukraine it is especially important because unfortunately we are divided by territories’, Kaurov said.
See the full text of interview under the Exclusive heading.
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