Donetsk, Jul 23 – DAN. Kiev’s course for an autocephaly might lead to a new division of Ukraine, said DPR envoy to the Minsk negotiations Denis Pushilin.
“Poroshenko is indulging Ukrainian nationalism by promising people the so-called united autocephalic orthodox church, by advocating separation from the Moscow Patriarchate; he is pursuing religious hatred consciously and persistently. The actions of Ukrainian authorities look even more cynical on the eve of the 1030th anniversary of the Christianization of Rus. Instead of a spiritual unity Kiev demonstrates strengthening of the policy towards the dissolution of the country,” he said.
Pushilin described Kiev’s religious policy as an attempt to split up orthodox Christians, to deteriorate internal situation and facilitate further alienation from Russia.
“I hope Ukrainian orthodox Christians are wise and strong enough spiritually to withstand the ideas of division.”
Earlier today DPR Head Alexander Zakharchenko said that an autocephaly in Ukraine will cause a religious war in the country.
In late April, the Ukrainian parliament voiced support to the president Petr Poroshenko’s appeal for church autocephaly to the Ecumenical Patriarch. Currently Ukrainian Orthodox Church is a self-governing constituent part of the Russian Orthodox Church (the Moscow Patriarchate). The other two churches – the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyivan Patriarchate and the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church – are unrecognized by canonical Eastern Orthodox churches.*ot