Ukraine, Zelensky announces law to ban churches affiliated with Moscow

Searches of Orthodox churches by the services of Kiev

Ukrainian President Volodymir Zelensky announced that the National Security Council has given instructions to the government to present in Parliament a law banning “religious organizations affiliated with centers of influence of the Russian Federation operating in Ukraine”. The charter of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church will also be examined, which also last May declared total independence and autonomy from the Moscow Patriarchate, “to identify any relations with the Moscow Patriarchate”. The Security Council has also ordered a check to establish whether the Orthodox Church legitimately uses the Kyiv Pechersk Lavra complex which was raided by the SBU in recent days.

The SMeanwhile, the Kiev security service conducted searches this morning in a dozen Ukrainian Orthodox churches and monasteries of the Moscow Patriarchate, “to protect the population against provocations and terrorist acts”. This was announced by the SBU press service, specifying that its employees “are implementing counter-espionage measures in ecclesiastical structures in the regions of Zhytomyr, Rivne and Zakarpattia”.

Among these – the Ukrainian security service announces – the male monastery of St. Nicholas of Khust, in Transcarpathia, is being investigated; the convent of St. Anastasia Stauropygny, the hermitage of the convent of St. Anastasia Stauropygny, the hermitage of the Iver Icon of the Mother of God, the hermitage of the Chopovychsky Athos Icon of the Mother of God, Zhytomyr District ; the Horodotsk convent, the church of All Saints of Volyn, the church of the Holy Resurrection and the church of the Holy Dormition in the Rivne region.