Bulgarian Patriarch asks Poroshenko to protect Ukrainian Orthodox believers from persecutions

Moscow, December 16, Interfax – Patriarch Neophyte of Bulgaria expressed his concerns with violations of Orthodox believers’ rights in Ukraine.

“We are seriously concerned with numerous registered facts of violating rights of the believers belonging to the only canonical Church in Ukraine. First of all, we refer to seizures of the UOC churches by force,” the patriarch said in his letter to Ukrainian president Pyotr Poroshenko, the UOC press service reports on Wednesday.

The primate pointed out to the attempts to take the Pochayev Lavra and the Kiev Lavra of the Caves from the canonical Church and give them to the self-proclaimed Kiev Patriarchate.

“Realization of such scenario will not only destabilize the social situation in Ukraine, but also will make it impossible for Orthodox hierarchs, clerics and believers from other countries to visit the mentioned Lavras as we do not have Eucharist and prayerful communication with schismatic structures,” the letter reads.

Patriarch Neophyte asks Poroshenko “to take all necessary measures to protect rights of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, securing its churches from being captured, and other forms of forceful, information and other pressure.”