MOSCOW, December 29. /TASS/. The Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church has expressed support to people that seek to maintain church unity and canonical standards of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and called on local churches and international rights groups to pay attention to the situation in Ukraine, according to the decrees by the Synod that were published on the website of the Moscow Patriarchate on Thursday.
"To express support to eparchs, clerics, people of religion and seculars that are seeking in these hard circumstances to maintain unity and canonical standards of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church," one decree said.
The Synod also ruled to consider it important to draw the attention of local Orthodox churches and global religious community as well as international rights groups to the violations of the rights of believers in Ukraine.
In addition, the journals said Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky announced some repressive measures with respect to the UOC and bill are being considered that would discriminate the Ukrainian church and run counter to international law. Searches are conducted in parishes, diocesan administrations and monasteries and priests are subjected to "humiliating searches and arrests under trumped-up excuses."
"A risk is emerging that the canonical church will be stripped of the right to utilize the temples of the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra. The rising pressure of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church is accompanied by an unbridled anti-church media campaign that involves prominent politicians, government officials and public figures in the spirit of the anti-religious campaigns of the Soviet past," the Synod said in its papers.