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  • War is a catalyst for change, says Sviatoslav, Head of Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church
    EUROMAIDAN PRESS Ruslana Tkachenko 2019/02/09 - 16:47

    Recently His Beatitude Sviatoslav, Head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (UGCC) presented his new book ̦դ (Dialogue Heals Wounds). The book is written as an interview between the Head of the UGCC SViatoslav and the editor of the Polish Catholic News Agency Krzysztof Tomaszek.

    In his book Dialogue Heals Wounds His Beatitude Sviatoslav speaks about the war in Ukraine, Russian-Ukrainian relations against the background of this war, and the changes that have taken place in Ukraine during this period. He offers ten ideas for readers to mull over

    1. When war broke out, many young people said that Ukraine would never go back, would never return to the past and they were absolutely right! This is not a political or electoral question. The changes that have taken place are irreversible and there will be no return to post-Soviet reality.
    2, Even in Russia, the aggressor state, people say that by launching and supporting the war, Russia has lost Ukraine for good.
    3. Only now do many Ukrainians realize that we are a different nation and that we must count only on ourselves and no one else, that its up to us to defend our homes and build our future. Ukraines future is in our hands! 4. Today, everything depends on us, and not on Russia.
    4. Each Ukrainian region has its own identity and specificity. Now, as never before, we feel and understand that Ukraine stands united for the idea of freedom and independence.
    5. Changes are usually spontaneous; nobody plans them, so even Ukrainians are surprised when they happen, not to speak of our neighbours and our own and foreign politicians.
    6. Today, were witnessing the birth of something new in Ukraine. This, in turn, gives birth to optimism, because its much better than what we had yesterday.
    7. The Revolution of Dignity was a turning point in a long historical process and a strong response to outside aggression. Ukrainian citizens united under the slogan: Never again will we be treated like slaves! Today, Ukrainians pose the following questions: How do we build a new Ukraine? On which foundations should a free and independent Ukraine be created?
    8. Not only do the hopes and pains that we suffer during this war constitute a priceless experience for Ukraine and Ukrainians, but they can also be shared with our neighbours, both in the West and in the East.
    9. Despite new challenges and difficulties, there is hope. Weve gone through many positive and irreversible changes. We cannot and will not return to the Soviet Union, although there are still too many people who recall this period with some nostalgia.
    10. My predecessor, His Beatitude Lubomyr Husar once said that for modern dictators, hungry people are not as dangerous as people who firmly believe in dignity. You can feed the hungry, but when it comes to dignity, either this dignity is granted naturally, or the people will lose their lives. You cannot force anyone to live in a country where human dignity is trampled daily.
    Translated by: Christine Chraibi
    Source: News.UGCC

    æ, !

    Hannia - Hania - Mighthelp


    • New details emerge on reported torture of Jehovahs Witnesses
      MEDUZA 10:04, 21 february 2019

      Following mass searches and arrests near the Siberian city of Surgut earlier this month, several Jehovahs Witnesses being held in the city said they had been tortured by law enforcement officers. On February 20, seven adherents of the religious group, which is banned in Russia, reported that officers caused them prolonged pain in an effort to discover where the group met and who attended meetings as well as the identities of local elders.

      Both the official website of Jehovahs Witnesses in Russia and individual adherents who were arrested said they were beaten, suffocated, and given electric shocks to their genitals. Among other sources, both TV Rain and OVD-Info interviewed Jehovahs Witnesses and their attorneys to confirm that information in detail. OVD-Infos report indicated that the group of 40 or so people arrested this month included minors. It also revealed that while those who said they were tortured sought medical help and asked for a record of their injuries to be created, their attorney, Dmitry Kolobov, said medical staff were insufficiently trained to locate electric shock marks and recorded large hematomas as minor bruises.

      Russias Investigative Committee denied that members of Jehovahs Witnesses had been tortured in Surgut. Officials said no member of the group had made an official complaint regarding torture and that because the organization is banned in Russia, reports of torture that appeared on its website should never have been published in the country.

      The reports of torture come amid an ongoing crackdown on Jehovahs Witnesses in Russia. Officials at the highest levels of government have defended the countrys ban on the organization, and in other parts of Russia, efforts to prosecute its members or transfer its former property to the state are ongoing.

      æ, !

      Hannia - Hania - Mighthelp


      • Ukraine's Orthodox Church Faces Eviction In Russia-Annexed Crimea
        RFE/RL March 29, 2019 14:16 GMT

        Ukraine's independent Orthodox Church is facing eviction in Simferopol, the capital of Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula, which was seized by Russia in 2014.

        Crimea's Russia-installed minister of land and property issues, Anna Anyukhina, told the state-run TASS news agency on March 29 that the peninsula's Moscow-controlled government had filed a lawsuit with a local court demanding the church's eviction.

        "This religious organization has failed to reorganize its founding documents in compliance with the legislature of the Russian Federation and currently does not pay taxes in Crimea and is not officially registered, Anyukhina said.

        "Due to the reason that this organization has no reason to remain in the building it occupies, the ministry is working on vacating that building and a relevant motion has been filed with a court," she added.

        Anyukhina added that the church will be allowed to use the building for free on a contractual basis if it re-registers with Russian authorities.

        In early January the Orthodox Church of Ukraine was granted independence, or autocephaly, ending more than 330 years of Russian religious control in Ukraine.

        Moscow long opposed such efforts by the Ukrainians for an independent church, which intensified after Russia annexed Crimea and threw support to separatists in parts of Ukraine's eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk.

        Earlier in March, Russia-controlled authorities in Crimea briefly detained the head of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine in the region, Archbishop Klyment, for unknown reasons.

        Klyment, who heads the Orthodox mission to help victims of human rights violations and persons deprived of their freedom, said in February that Crimean authorities were set to revoke a lease on his church because he failed to register the parish in the Russian Federation.

        Russia took control of Crimea from Ukraine in March 2014 after sending in troops, seizing key facilities, and staging a referendum dismissed as illegal by at least 100 countries.
        With reporting by TASS

        æ, !

        Hannia - Hania - Mighthelp


        • Kyiv says 506 parishes have shifted from Moscow Church; Moscow claims only 61 have
          EUROMAIDAN PRESS Paul Goble 2019/03/31 - 12:08

          The Ukrainian map of 506 parishes that changed their allegiance from the Moscow Patriarchate to the OCU as of March 31, 2019. (Image: Google Maps)

          Since the Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU) was formed and granted autocephaly by the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople last year, both it and the Moscow Patriarchates exarchate in Ukraine agree that a number of churches have shifted their allegiance from the Moscow church to the Ukrainian one. But they disagree as to how many.

          A month ago, the OCU said that 340 parishes had shifted their allegiance, while the Moscow Church said only 36 had. Now Moscow acknowledges that the number which have shifted has increased to 61; but the OCU says that 506 have done so.

          The Ukrainian figures are almost certainly closer to the mark too many journalists are checking these reports for them to be off by as much as Moscow claims and that means that four months into the process, one of every 24 churches formerly subordinate to Moscow in Ukraine is now part of the autocephalous church.

          Given the enormous share of the Moscow Patriarchates churches located in Ukraine, and given Moscows desire to muddy the waters so that no one will be certain as to exactly how fast this process is going, journalists in the name of objectivity will always cite the Moscow figures along with the Kyiv ones. The Russian church has every reason to understate the numbers.

          That will become even more the case when the number shifting from Moscow to Kyiv has reached a tipping point in the regions. When a certain critical number of churches has changed allegiance, others follow at a rapid rate and that tipping point is now within reach in many but not yet all of Ukraines oblasts.

          s a result, it is important to keep track of these developments on the two competing maps, not because the Moscow figures are accurate but because they will be used by the Russian government to try to effectively undercut Ukraine given that Moscow recognizes that most of the Western journalists who cover Ukraine do so from Moscow rather than Kyiv.

          The Ukrainian map of parishes that changed their allegiance from the Moscow Patriarchate to the OCU is at The Russian one is at

          æ, !

          Hannia - Hania - Mighthelp