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Order of Saint Andrew the Apostle Decries Russian Persecution of Ukrainian Orthodox Priests

In an explosive piece published on Saturday, August 13, 2022, the Wall Street Journal reported that “in Russian-occupied parts of Ukraine, clergy members are targets” of invading Russian forces. The Journal added that “dozens of priests from the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, the country’s largest denomination, have been kidnapped or killed since the invasion began, according to church officials.” The Order of Saint Andrew the Apostle, Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, deplores this targeted persecution and harassment of Ukrainian Orthodox clergy, and calls upon Moscow Patriarch Kirill and the entire Russian Orthodox Church, in the name of our common Orthodox faith, to condemn these practices and work to bring about their immediate end.

Priests from the Autocephalous Orthodox Church of Ukraine are not the only targets: “Still more pastors from other denominations have been chased from their pulpits and imprisoned. Some have had their church property seized.” The Order stands in solidarity with all those clergy who are being targeted, and reaffirms its unequivocal support for religious freedom. The complicity of the Russian Orthodox Church in these incidents is a matter of grave concern and extreme sorrow; we pray that Almighty God will move their hearts to repentance so as to bring about a decisive repudiation of these fratricidal practices.

On January 5, 2019, in the presence of His Beatitude Epiphaniy, the Metropolitan of Kyiv and All Ukraine, His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew signed the Tomos of the official recognition and proclamation of the Autocephaly of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. We ask all Orthodox faithful throughout the oikoumene to pray fervently for the protection of the Lord and His All-Holy Mother upon the Holy Church in Ukraine and its people.

Yours in the service of our Holy Mother Church,

Anthony J. Limberakis, MD
Archon Aktouarios
National Commander


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