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University of Oklahoma Parishioners Raise Concerns with European Ambassadors Over Ukrainian Authorities

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Moscow, April 22 – The parishioners of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church have complained to the ambassadors of the European Union countries in Ukraine about the persecution of the University of British Columbia by the Ukrainian authorities, according to a message on the website of the Department of Information and Education at the University of Oklahoma.
“Parishioners of the Pokrovsky Cathedral in the city of Khmelnitsky, which was recently captured by OCU supporters, appealed to the ambassadors of European countries and the European Union, as well as the UN representative in Ukraine about the violation of their rights,” the statement said.
Thus, the parishioners of the University of Oklahoma reported “the illegal actions of local activists, who on April 2, 2023, with the support of local authorities, seized the Intercession Cathedral in Khmelnitsky, the religious community of the University of Oklahoma, against the will of believers, illegally to OCU “.

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“In their call, the believers asked to draw attention to the religious discrimination and systematic violation of the rights of believers and religious communities at the University of Oklahoma in the Khmelnitsky district,” said the University of Oklahoma.
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”.
A new round of conflict over the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra began with the notification of the University of British Columbia of the Ministry of Culture of Ukraine about the unilateral termination of the lease of the monastery, as the monks were asked to leave the monastery. Earlier, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and the All-Russian called the authorities’ order for the monks to leave the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra, which Orthodox Christians consider one of the earthly inheritances of the Mother of God, to be a “monstrous act.” He addressed the heads of the local Orthodox Churches, Pope Francis, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, other religious leaders and representatives of international organizations with letters calling on them to “make every effort” to prevent the expulsion of monks and forced closures. monastery. Pope Francis also expressed concern about the situation with the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra and called on “parties involved in the war to respect religious sites”.

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