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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.http://euromaidanpress.com/2019/02/0...tholic-church/
    Translated by: Christine Chraibi
    Source: News.UGCC




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    • 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.https://meduza.io/en/news/2019/02/21...ah-s-witnesses


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      • Guide for voting at 2019 elections developed by Evangelical Christian Baptists
        RISU 24 January 2019, 09:42

        All-Ukrainian Union of Churches of Evangelical Christian Baptists published a guide for Ukrainians Elections-2019: Whom To Choose? The document, signed by the Head of the ACC, Valerii Antoniuk, sets out 5 criteria according to which Christians, as conscious citizens of the country, should make a right choice of candidates for public offices.

        Every power is from God, but we must remember: not all power is that of God. That is why, while voting, it is necessary to manifest not only the civil, but also, first and foremost, Christian consciousness and responsibility, the guide for election stresses, and indicates what should first be remembered by Christians when electing the authorities.

        1. Freedom of religion Everyone has the right to freedom of thought and religion. This right includes the freedom to profess any religion or not to profess any, to freely conduct individual or collective religious ceremonies and rites, conduct religious activities,(Article 35 of the Constitution).

        Therefore, when choosing the authorities, we choose those who value freedom and are ready to continue to provide it.

        2. Correspondence of programs of candidates to Biblical (spiritual) values. Successful development of the country is rooted in spiritual sources. Spiritual ignorance, unscrupulousness, or explicit rejection of God's laws by candidates to high offices is a signal for Christians to refrain from their support. This selection criterion will help us to distinguish cheap populism from the serious spiritual convictions of those who are fighting for the right to hold positions in Ukraine. It is worth knowing what position the candidates have adopted in matters of faith, morality, churches, spiritual development of the country. Unfortunately, these questions candidates often do not cover at all or they deliberately refrain from speaking about them.

        3. The danger of atheistic ideology. A Christian who helps an atheist to come to power commits a sin. We can not give votes for those who adhere to a godless ideology (communist, neo-Marxist, satanic, etc.). We understand that such people will ruin the country, even if they are skilled professionals.

        4. Moral (Christian) virtues of people who are in power. Justice, honesty, decency, sincerity, attentiveness, selflessness are the necessary features of the character of persons who are called to make important decisions at the state level. It is necessary to take into account the extent to which the candidate is prepared to address the wounds of society: alcoholism, drug addiction, gambling, the spread of immorality, etc., all that destroys the moral foundations of society.

        5. Professionalism and experience in management. Today, society is in high demand for new faces in politics. And many of those new are ready to come to power. However, it should be remembered that not every person who aspires for a public office has the necessary experience and ability in management. Not everyone can be a state-level leader.

        Populism and candidates' ambitions should not make a Christian lose understanding of the real situation. In order to make the right choice, we need to be responsible to this issue and choose the authorities compliant with the Word of God and our Christian convictions.

        Therefore, the Baptists remind, in 2019 every Friday the churches have a fast and pray for our state. On March 29, the All-Ukrainian Fast and Prayer for the Elections will take place so that Ukraine attain spiritual awakening and economic prosperity.https://risu.org.ua/en/index/all_new...society/74442/

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        • Chaplains of Volyn bless icons by ATO soldiers
          RISU 7 March 2019, 10:08

          In the Rivne Regional Hospital of War Veterans, hosting the Center for Rehabilitation and Treatment, Mykhailo Buchak, Chief Military Chaplain of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, Archpriest Mykhailo Buchak, along with Archpriests Ivan Hureev, Vitaliy Antonyuk and Yevheniy Rud blessed the icons by soldiers and their mothers during rehabilitation.

          This is reported by Volyn Post.

          The clergy also celebrated a prayer service for the health of the soldiers, their families and the medical staff that supervises them. Chaplains served a burial service (litia) for the fallen brothers and sisters.

          "As Fr Mykhailo said, two wheelchairs were brought for the fighters, which were provided by the rector of the Lutsk parish of the Reverend Job of Pochayiv, priest Oleksandr Vronsky, and some sweets, the statement reads. https://risu.org.ua/en/index/all_new...society/74989/

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          • Filaret expresses interest in rewriting OCU Charter
            15 March 2019, 16:22 | Orthodox Church of Ukraine | 8 | | Code for Blog | |

            The present Charter of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine has certain flaws, and therefore it needs to be amended at the next Local Council.Such an opinion was voiced by Emeritus Patriarch Filaret in an interview with Glavkom.

            "I am personally dissatisfied (with the Charter). Therefore, we must hold a meeting and adopt the Charter of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church at the next Local Council. Not the Kyiv Metropolis as part of the Constantinople Patriarchate, because we are now using the Greek Charter. We, as an autocephalous Church, need to have our own Ukrainian Charter, which we must approve at the Local Council. Therefore, we are waiting for the convening of the OCU Council which must adopt the Charter of our Church.

            Among the shortcomings of the present Charter of the OCU, Emeritus Patriarch Filaret called the appointment of permanent members of the Synod. The most important thing is to change the number of permanent members of the Synod. We need not three of them but many more, like 12. For others, it will be possible to alternately be temporary members of the Synod, he said. Permanent members of the Synod should be reputed bishops from different regions, from the Center, the West, the East, the South, and the North of Ukraine. In order for the whole of Ukraine to be represented in the Synod as permanent members, that is, as we had before the time in the Kyiv Patriarchate. And so, it was the case of the Ukrainian Church before split, it was the order and tradition that was not new to us, added the honorable Patriarch.

            Emeritus Patriarch Filaret therefore proposes to first convene a Local Council at which the participants will adopt the Charter, and then elect the Synod on the basis of the new Charter.

            Emeritus Patriarch Filaret also expressed confidence that these initiatives would not be denied in the Ecumenical Patriarchate. They told us this way: accept the Charter we offer you until you receive the Tomos, and, as you become an autocephalous church, you can adopt the Charter you need, the hierarch of the OCU stressed.https://risu.org.ua/en/index/all_new...dox/ocu/75085/

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            • UGCC Head: Aspiration to pray in St Sophia of Kyiv means having access to own origins, not real estate right
              16 March 2019, 10:25 | UGCC | 9 | | Code for Blog | |

              For us, the Greek Catholics, it is not about the right to real estate, but two things are decisive: values and relationships. When we talk about the Cathedral of St. Sophia, we have certain Christian values, the Christian roots of the European Ukrainian civilization, and not the church, not new places for worship, Head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church Patriarch Sviatoslav said in an interview with OBOZ TV.

              If we are referring to the discussion around St. Sophia Cathedral and about the possibility of worship for different Churches, I will say frankly, I do not really like this discussion. After all, it acquired a non-churchly character, added the Head of the UGCC.

              According to the spiritual leader of the Greek Catholics, the Cathedral of St. Sophia - our Kyiv Christian heritage - is a common ground where all the heirs can meet, be present. So now, this debate must turn into a revelation of our common roots.

              If we are talking about the values or Christian roots, then we want to draw attention to the fact that St Sofia is not only a church, but a certain civilization matrix of Kyivan Christianity, it is the Divine Wisdom. Therefore, you can hold St. Sophia Cathedral, and be devoid of St Sophia of Kyiv, said the Head of the Church.

              He noticed that the matter of Christian roots (European and Ukrainian civilization space) is now threatened. Why do I say that these values are under a certain threat? For, on the one hand, we see that the ideology of the Russian World, which in its own way interprets the content of Christian principles in the modern state, cultural or civilizational space, wants to assign itself this type of roots. On the other hand, certain ideas about Europeanness (which, unfortunately, are already prevalent in Ukraine) are the rejection of the Christian foundation and values ... To my deep conviction, both are false statements. And when we talk about the Sophianist values, we mean the foundation, the foundation of our church, social being. We need to revive, to discover it and realize it. Unfortunately, the following opinion is often heard: whoever holds St Sophia, he holds Ukraine this is about the tenure of St. Sophia Cathedral. I think this is a very dangerous thesis, said the head of the Greek Catholics.

              The head of the UGCC noted that the desire to pray at the St. Sophia Cathedral was an aspiration to have access to own origins: We asked for the opportunity to attend it. Unfortunately, authorities sometimes can make decisions that are not always clear to us. Our aspiration was well-grounded. However, we respect the position of our state and Orthodox brethren. We hope that in all our considerations, communications the priority would be given to things that unite and not divide.

              In addition, His Beatitude Sviatoslav said that the UGCC wanted to show that it is also the heir to this tradition. St. Sophia Cathedral is also important for Greek Catholics. This was a good reason why the UGCC made a request on April 7 to celebrate liturgy in the cathedral.

              In my opinion, inter-church relations must be radically reborn and transformed ... We must see each other not as a competitor, but as a fellow ... It is worth noting that we had many events in St Sophia of Kyiv. The last event that we held in this cathedral is the presentation of the Galician Gospel of 1144. Moreover, I then had the honor to visit and present this gospel to Patriarch Filaret and the then head of the UAOC Metropolitan Makariy. This is not for the first time when we were present there, organized events and activities, reminded the head of the UGCC.

              This is reported by the Department of Information of the UGCC.https://risu.org.ua/en/index/all_new...cs/ugcc/75091/




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              • In the course of five years under occupation, Crimea returned to close-minded stagnant period of the USSR, Archbishop Klyment of the OCU says
                16 March 2019, 11:52 | Religion and policy

                These days mark five years of the events that led to the seizure of Crimea. Archbishop Klyment of Simferopol and Crimea of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine said in an interview with Glavkom, as he recalled the events of five years ago and the so-called referendum.

                "I left Crimea on the eve of the so-called referendum. The situation was as follows: then Andriy Shchekun (a pro-Ukrainian activist), Serhiy Kovalsky (coordinator of the EuroMaydan-Crimea movement) were detained. We had no information about them. There was a real danger for me and the priests of the UOC-Kyiv Patriarchate. Therefore, I told them that they, together with their wives and children, should leave as soon as possible. In Crimea I happened to be already on the 20th of March. The last of our barricades was the action of March 9 on Taras Shevchenko's anniversary. After that, we realized: we can no longer change anything. You know, there was [a sense of] danger, there was fear. Then the carriages were searched, those people who arrived in and left Crimea. I was also detained, searched. The situation was very complicated, psychologically, too, the hierarch recalled.

                In his opinion, during the five years of occupation, Crimea returned in the days of the Soviet Union.

                Complete degradation. Emptiness, disappointment. No one can say anything aloud, they are afraid. In Russia, if you express your opinion, you can seriously suffer. That is why we returned to the stagnant times of the Soviet Union, when everyone talked in whispers, in their kitchens. Of course, there are those who like it all, but in general, I do not feel any festive mood, I do not see joy in the eyes of people.

                When everything started, they pressed on psychologically very hard. People were prepared to a permanent feast, they say, throw out the chains of Ukraine, and this feast will begin. In the spring of 2014, such sentiments prevailed and people said: so, now we will have salaries as in Russia, we will live better. But they did not take into account that what seemed to be a big salary from the point of view of the Ukrainians when the Russians came, it turned out to be small. People have seen that this is not so much money, they are permanently in need. Businessmen are frustrated by the fact they have to cut down their activities, Archbishop Klyment said.

                "It's difficult to predict. Taking Sevastopol and the rest of Crimea, then these are two different regions. It seems to me that the situation in the rest of Crimea is calmer than in Sevastopol. For in Crimea there are Crimean residents (who are still in power), while Russians came to power in Sevastopol. Therefore, all local people have experienced what the "people from the mainland" are, as they call them. With regard to weapons and their large quantity on the peninsula, one cannot put it on the bread that you could later concluded the archbishop.https://risu.org.ua/en/index/all_new..._policy/75094/






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                • 16 March 2019, 14:14 | Islam

                  The terrorist who attacked Muslims in a mosque in New Zealand on March 15, mentioned Ukraine in his "manifesto", addressing his threats, in particular, to Ukrainian believers. This was written on Facebook by Mufti of the Religious Administration of Muslims of Ukraine "Ummah" Sheikh Said Ismagilov.

                  You will find no reprieve, not in Iceland, not in Poland, not in New Zealand, not in Argentina, not in Ukraine.

                  The faithful were extremely concerned at today's prayer because of this mention by the terrorists of Ukraine, and some did not come to prayer at all, expecting the terrorist acts to happen in Ukraine, he said.

                  Mufti added that before the prayer, men approached him and asked if there were any security measures in the mosque, whether it was not necessary to organize the security of the building and to prepare first aid kits in case of a terrorist attack.

                  Today's events and threats were so unexpected that we did not even have time to ensure security measures. I hope that this will never happen in Ukraine, but it's strange why the terrorists have mentioned only five countries from 195 countries and our Ukraine among them? Said Ismagilov noted.https://risu.org.ua/en/index/all_new...s/islam/75095/

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