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Poroshenko tightening the screws on Ukrainian Orthodox Church, says opposition

November 30, 18:30 UTC+3 KIEV

The head of the Opposition Bloc believes that the Poroshenko regime would not limit itself just to personal attacks

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KIEV, November 30. /TASS/. Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko is intensifying his onslaught against the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, head of the Opposition Bloc faction in Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada (parliament) Vadim Novinsky said on Friday.

"His Eminence Paul is not the only person who is being persecuted now… Law enforcement officials are using unprecedented pressure on bishops and clerics of our Mother Church. The sole purpose is to commit an act of betrayal and transfer from the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church to Poroshenko’s so-called church, which is being created by the presidential administration," he wrote on Facebook, commenting on the searches in the apartment of Abbot of Kiev-Pechersk Lavra (the Kiev Monastery of the Caves) Metropolitan Paul and the monastery’s farm.

According to the lawmaker, the criminal case against the monastery’s abbot "will crumble even at the pre-trial stage, just like hundreds, if not thousands of other trumped-up cases against those people who irk the authorities and those opposing them."

Novinsky added that the Poroshenko regime would not limit itself just to such personal attacks, adding that officially taking inventory of Kiev-Pechersk Lavra’s property was questionable from a legal standpoint.

He described the government’s decision to take away premises and property from the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and the Holy Dormition Pochayev Lavra as "unprecedented in terms of its lawlessness." "It becomes clear that that <…> one of the goals of martial law could be the unhindered seizure of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church’s cathedrals and property, going even as far as seizing the Pochayev and Kiev-Pechersk monasteries," he added.

"As for Poroshenko’s onslaught, I’ll say the following. Monasteries and cathedrals have belonged and will belong to our Mother Church… Ukraine’s Orthodox people, and there are tens of millions of us that will protect their holy sites by all legal means and will not allow a split in Orthodoxy on our soil whatsoever for the sake of Poroshenko’s political strategy," Novinsky stressed.

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