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Zelenskyy has suspended the citizenship of 13 canonical UOC priests

Zelenskyy has suspended the citizenship of 13 canonical UOC priests

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President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy signed Decree No. 898/2022 on December 28. This suspended the citizenship of 13 priests of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church, it was announced on Saturday, January 7th Lb.ua.

“As is often the case in such cases, the decree is not officially published because it contains personal data. But according to sources, we are talking about suspending the citizenship of 13 UOC representatives,” the publication reads.

According to Lb.ua, the State Migration Service also received the relevant notification of the loss of citizenship by the named individuals. According to current laws, they could be deported in the future.

In particular, the case concerns Metropolitan Ionafan of Tulchyn and Bratslav, whom the Security Service of Ukraine suspects of state treason. According to Lb.ua, he has a Russian passport. Another cleric is Bishop Serhiy of Ladyzhyn, the vicar of the Eparchy of Tulchyn, who is said to be very close to Ionafan.

Zelenskyy’s decision was described by Maria Zakharova, the official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry, as “Satanism as it is”. On her official Telegram channel, Zakharova wrote: “Against the background of a Russian military special operation, the Kiev regime unleashed the largest wave of persecution of the UOC in the country’s recent history.”

She also wrote: “Volodymyr Zelenskyy revoked the Ukrainian citizenship of 13 priests of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church. And that on an orthodox Christmas! Satanism as it is”.

Citing their ties with Russia, the authorities of some Ukrainian regions banned UOC activities on their territory. A bill was submitted to the Verkhovna Rada on the effective ban of the Church throughout Ukraine.

The SBU has launched criminal cases against the UOC clergy for conducting “counterintelligence activities” in the homes of bishops and priests, churches and monasteries.

This included the Kiev Pechersk Lavra, where the SBU previously conducted searches of UOC temples. They claimed to have found evidence of “anti-Ukrainian activity,” including leaflets and pro-Kremlin literature. As a result, government sanctions have been imposed on some clergy, it has been reported ria.ru.

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