Ukraine Considers Banning Russian-Affiliated Churches within Its Borders

Milton Quintanilla | Contributor for | Updated: Dec 06, 2022
Ukraine Considers Banning Russian-Affiliated Churches within Its Borders

Ukraine Considers Banning Russian-Affiliated Churches within Its Borders

Ukrainian authorities recently called for a ban on churches within its borders that are affiliated with Russia.

As reported by Reuters, Ukraine's National Security and Defence Council asked the government to make a law banning churches that are possibly taking orders from Russia.

In an address last Thursday, Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy argued that pro-Russian influences are trying to "weaken Ukraine from within" as war rages on between Ukraine and Russia.

"We have to create conditions where no actors dependent on the aggressor state [Russia] will have an opportunity to manipulate Ukrainians and weaken Ukraine from within," Zelenskyy said. "We will never allow anyone to build an empire inside the Ukrainian soul."

The security council also called for an investigation into alleged "subversive activities of Russian special services in the religious environment of Ukraine" and a call for sanctions against unspecified individuals.

Meanwhile, last Friday, the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) raided at least five parishes belonging to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church that had previously been linked to the Russian Orthodox Church.

A former diocese head was also served a notice of suspicion by authorities. The former leader is suspected of organizing a Pro-Moscow campaign with the leader of the Russian Orthodox Church.

Metropolitan Kliment, a spokesperson for the church, says his organization "has always acted within the framework of Ukrainian law."

"Therefore, the state of Ukraine does not have any legal grounds to put pressure on or repress our believers," he added.

According to The Christian Post, last month, authorities conducted searches at the Ivano-Frankivsk Eparchy of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Moscow Patriarchate and the Pochaiv Theological Seminary in Ternopil Oblast. The SBU claimed that pro-Russian materials were found in both locations.

In a message via Telegram, Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev called authorities in Kyiv "Satanists" and "enemies of Christ and the Orthodox faith."

"This is how the whole Christian world should treat them," he continued.

Photo courtesy: Andriyko Podilnyk/Unsplash

Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer and content creator. He is a contributing writer for Christian Headlines and the host of the For Your Soul Podcast, a podcast devoted to sound doctrine and biblical truth. He holds a Masters of Divinity from Alliance Theological Seminary.

Ukraine Considers Banning Russian-Affiliated Churches within Its Borders