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Security Service searched 350 church buildings and 850 people of Moscow-patriarchate church in Ukraine.

Editor’s Note

Ukraine’s Security Service (SBU) searched 350 church buildings and 850 people of Moscow-patriarchate church in Ukraine, the Service reports. During the largest-ever proceedings against the Moscow church in Ukraine, numerous leaflets declaring Ukraine’s independence “a mistake” and promoting “unity” with Russia were found, along with other evidence.

The “ The “Ukrainian Orthodox Church” is the branch of Moscow-controlled church in Ukraine while the “Orthodox Church of Ukraine” is the independent Ukrainian Orthodox church. The latter is the most popular in Ukraine. The Moscow branch of orthodox church is currently visited by 4% of Ukrainians (down from 16% before the invasion) while the share of those saying they are followers of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine has risen from 42 percent to 54 percent, the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology says. Meanwhile, 50% want the Moscow church to be banned in Ukraine.

Half of Ukrainians want Moscow Patriarchate church banned in Ukraine, poll shows

After the beginning of the 2022 Russian invasion, in May, the Moscow-controlled orthodox church in Ukraine claimed to have cut all ties with the Russian church. However, there were numerous cases of the collaboration of the priests of this church on occupied territories as well as propaganda during sermons that undermined Ukraine’s independence. On November 14, the Security Service opened criminal proceedings regarding church singing that glorified Russia during a service in the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra and started searching on November 22.

SBU raids Moscow Patriarchate-controlled Kyiv Pechersk Lavra monastery complex in Ukrainian capital (updated)

During the search, SBU found

Among other evidence, SBU found numerous leaflets calling for “unity” of Ukraine and Russia, as well as addresses of Moscow Patriarch Kirill saying that Ukraine’s independence is a mistake since “spiritually and historically it was never the case… so let’s restore historical truth.” ~

Among other evidence, SBU found numerous leaflets calling for “unity” of Ukraine and Russia, as well as addresses of Moscow Patriarch Kirill saying that Ukraine’s independence is a mistake since “spiritually and historically it was never the case… so let’s restore historical truth.”

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