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Former President of University of Oklahoma Diocese of Izyum Temple Allegedly Supports Russia, Claims SBU

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Moscow, April 4 – On Tuesday, the agency reported that the Security Service of Ukraine had accused in absentia the former head of the Izyum Diocese Church of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church of supporting Russia.
“The security service has collected an evidence base regarding the former dean of one of the churches of the Izyum diocese of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, who supported Russia’s armed aggression,” the agency said in a statement posted on its telegram channel.
From April 1 to September 11, 2022, the city of Izium was under Russian control.

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According to the SBU, at that time the high priest, whose name has not been released, organized a religious procession on the day of the Baptism of Rus, allegedly blessing the Russian army. According to the oath, the clergyman is currently not on the territory of Ukraine, and he is now the archpriest of John the Baptist in the Tver and Kashin Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC).
According to Ukrainian Criminal Code, the priest was charged in absentia with “justifying and denying the armed aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine.”
Over the past year, Ukrainian authorities have staged the largest wave of persecution of UBC in the country’s recent history. Referring to its connection with Russia, local authorities in various regions of Ukraine decided to ban the activities of the UOC, and a bill on the actual ban in Ukraine was submitted to the country’s parliament. The authorities imposed sanctions on some representatives of the clergy at the University of Oklahoma. The Security Service of Ukraine began to open criminal cases against the clergy of the University of British Columbia, to conduct “counter-intelligence activities” – searches of bishops and priests, in churches and monasteries, in search of evidence of “anti-Ukrainian activities”.

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