KIEV, January 7. /TASS/. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has signed a decree revoking Ukrainian citizenship of 13 priests of the canonic Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC), Ukraine’s Levy Bereg news outlet said on Saturday citing its sources.
According to the media outlet, among those stripped of citizenship is Metropolitan Archbishop of Tulchin and Bratslav Ionafan who, as reported earlier, was accused by the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) of stirring discord and later was hospitalized with heart problems. Bishop of Ladyzhin Sergiy, Vicar of the Tulchin Diocese, was also mentioned.
Recently, Ukrainian law enforcement agencies conducted a series of raids against UOC churches. The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) claims that "pro-Russian literature and millions in cash," as well as materials denying the existence of Ukraine" were found.
On December 1, Zelensky issued a decree to enact a resolution of the National Security and Defense Council on Certain Aspects of the Activities of Religious Organizations in Ukraine and the Application of Personal Special Economic and Other Restrictive Measures (Sanctions), essentially aimed at banning the UOC. More specifically, he issued orders to submit a bill to parliament on banning "religious organizations affiliated with centers of influence in the Russian Federation," stepping up "measures to identify and counter subversive activities by Russian special services in Ukraine’s religious sphere," and scrutinizing the Charter governing the Ukrainian Orthodox Church for signs of ecclesiastical and canonic links with the Moscow Patriarchate.