Information operations · Information Warfare · Russia · Ukraine

Russia Losing the War of the Churches (9)

Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

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Evidently, devoid of any real options, the Russians are falling back on their favourite behaviours – demonizing the other party, and rallying their proxies. WSJ analysis is very good.

Michael Khodarkovsky | Russia Wages a Religious War Against Ukraine – WSJ

The Kremlin tries without success to dominate the Eastern Orthodox Church. Russia’s assault on Ukraine unfolded along military, economic and diplomatic lines. Vladimir Putin’s Moscow also is waging a less-noticed war on Ukraine’s religious sovereignty. To understand this, look at the structure of Eastern Orthodox Christianity. The church consists of 14 autocephalous, or self-governing, churches. Religious and national identities often overlap, as in the Orthodox Churches of Russia, Romania, Bulgaria and Georgia. Each national church falls under a particular patriarchate, and the ecumenical patriarch of Constantinople is considered first among equals.

Ukraine’s Orthodox church emerges from Russia’s shadow | Financial Times

One is loyal to Ukraine’s local subsidiary of the Russian church, the largest confession among the 300m Orthodox Christians worldwide. But the …

Parubiy meets with exarchs of Ecumenical Patriarch – 05.10.2018 13:00 — Ukrinform News

Verkhovna Rada Chairman Andriy Parubiy has handed the exarchs of the Ecumenical Patriarch an invitation for His All Holiness Bartholomew to visit Ukraine and deliver a speech in the Ukrainian parliament.

Parubii invites Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew to visit Ukraine: “This would be milestone event” (05.10.18 12:30) « Incidents | Censor.NET

05.10.18 12:30 – Parubii invites Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew to visit Ukraine: “This would be milestone event” Speaking with the Exarchs of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, Chairman of the Ukrainian parliament, Andrii Parubii asked them to invite the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew to visit Ukraine. View news.

Rada Speaker invites Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew for Ukraine visit | UNIAN

Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, Andriy Paruby, invited Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew to visit Ukraine. Parubiy says he hopes the Ukraine church will be granted autocephaly as early as before year-end. Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, Andriy Paruby, invited Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew to visit Ukraine. The official voiced the invitation during a meeting with the exarchs of the Ecumenical Patriarch in Ukraine – Archbishop Daniel of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC) of the USA and Bishop Ilarion of the UOC of Canada, according to an UNIAN correspondent. “I want to convey great gratitude from all deputies and the entire Ukrainian people to the Ecumenical Patriarch for responding to our appeal. And I warmly recall our meeting with him when we talked for hours about the possibility of providing the tomos [on autocephaly of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church],” the Parliament speaker said. He noted that he conveyed to Archbishop Daniel and Bishop Ilarion his invitation for the Ecumenical Patriarch to address the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.

Russian Church Spokesman Falsely Compares Ukrainian Church to Nazis

The Ukrainian patriarch suggested changing the name of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Moscow Patriarchate to accurately reflect its affiliation. He did not advocate violence against the Church. In the Rossiya 24 interview, Hilarion condemned proposed legislation to rename the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Moscow Patriarchate the “Russian Church in Ukraine,” comparing it to the action of Nazis. The proposal is genuine indeed. Kyiv Patriarch Filaret has spoken about the idea of renaming the Moscow-linked church in a TV interview. reached out to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Kyiv Patriarchate, which responded with one of Filaret’s statements on the topic, in which he confirmed that actual legislation on the matter had been proposed. “It is quite important that the Verkhovna Rada (Ukrainian parliament) has adopted the law on the name of the Church – the project’s draft number is 5309,” the Patriarch said in an interview whose transcript was published on the Kyiv Patriarchate’s official website.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Only Two Men – Putin and Erdogan – Can Block Ukrainian Autocephaly Now, Stepanov Says

Paul Goble Staunton, October 2 – Implicitly recognizing that the Ukrainian Orthodox are about to gain autocephaly, a Russian Orthodox nationalist commentator says Orthodox church opponents of that move have run out of resources to stop that development and that only two men – the presidents of Russia and of Turkey – can prevent what Anatoly Stepanov says will be a disaster. Stepanov, the editor of the Russkaya narodnaya liniya portal which is more pro-Kremlin than pro-Moscow Patriarchate, argues that it is extremely likely that the Universal Patriarch in Constantinople will issue the tomos of autocephaly in the coming weeks, possibly as early as October 11 ( If that happens, he continues, there would then be a church assembly in Ukraine consisting of 60 hierarchs from the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyiv Patriarchate, 13 from the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church and an unknown number from the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate to form the new Ukrainian church. (According to Ukrainian sources, there are at least 10 hierarchs of the last who are ready to join what Sepanov describes as this anti-canonical action (—perebezhchikov-iz-upts-mp-poshel-na-desyatki-01102018220000).) “Unfortunately,” the Moscow editor says, “we cannot stop this. We have very few, in fact, practically none, church instruments” to do so. A major reason for this, Stepanov suggests, is that the arm of the ROC MP that should have been fighting this battle, the Department for External Church Relations has failed to do its job. Instead, it has concentrated “all its efforts on contacts with the Vatican and ecumenism. As a result, “we don’t have practically any church means of influence on the situation regarding Ukrainian autocephaly” and can only hope either that the Ukrainians will overreach and be rejected by Constantinople or that the ROC MP can make use of “political instruments.” Those include in the first instance “a Muslim, the Turkish leader Redcep Erdogan. It is precisely he who can create for the Istanbul patriarch such problems that [the later] won’t be ‘concerned with the fate of the Orthodox in Ukraine.’” Some Orthodox will be horrified by turning to outside political figures to achieve the church’s aims or to the very idea of “appealing to a Muslim for help in a fight among Orthodox,” Stepanov concedes. But there are good reasons for doing both in what is becoming a desperate situation. That is what Khalif Omar did and St. Sofrony surrendered Jerusalem to him as a result even though Omar refused to pray with Sofrony at the time. “We also do not need to pray with Erdogan; we only need him to help us stop autocephaly.” And there is good reason to think that the second political figure who can stop Ukrainian autocephaly has already asked him to. That figure, of course is Vladimir Putin. And thus for us it remains “only to pray for the slaves of God, Vladimir and Recep” so that they will help the Church avoid the split that Constantinople is working toward in Ukraine.

TASS: Society & Culture – Metropolitan of Minsk: situation in Ukraine can result in schism of Universal Orthodoxy

Metropolitan Pavel of Minsk and Zaslavl appealed to His All Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew ‘to stop this’

TASS: Society & Culture – Russian Orthodox Church uncertain over Poroshenko’s religious affiliation

«The church that he belongs to is his private matter, but creating a church or changing the canonic way of how a church is organized is not,» a Moscow Patriarchate official said

Situation with Orthodox Church in Ukraine on agenda of Holy Synod meeting in Minsk

“Of course, everyone is concerned about the Ukraine issue now. I believe that we need to discuss this matter [at the meeting]),” Metropolitan of Minsk and Zaslavl Pavel said.

TASS: Society & Culture – Church Crisis: Constantinople Patriarchate’s Synod to meet on October 9-11

The next meeting of the Holy and Sacred Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople will be held next week

GEORGIA Orthodox Church accused of interference in Georgian elections

Salome Zurabishvili, of the patriotic and anti-Russian

Estonian Orthodox Church condemns Ukraine’s plan for independent church | News | ERR

The Synod of the Estonian Orthodox Church of Moscow Patriarchate on Tuesday published a statement in which it condemned the process launched in Ukraine for achieving the autocephaly, or independence, of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church from Moscow.