The ROC will send a letter Tillerson in connection with the persecution of the Patriarchate in Ukraine

© RIA Novosti / Grigory to Sysoeva in fotobounce of Moscow from the Ivan the Great bell tower. Archival photoThe ROC will send a letter Tillerson in connection with the persecution of the Patriarchate in Ukraine© RIA Novosti / Grigory to Sysoeva the image Bank

The Moscow Patriarchate is preparing a formal letter to the Secretary of state Rex Tillerson in connection with the «biased» U.S. state Department report on alleged infringement of religious freedoms in Russia and a complete disregard of Washington’s persecution of the UOC of the Moscow Patriarchate in Ukraine, said Tuesday the head of sector for interreligious contacts of the Department for external Church relations (DECR), MP Dimitry Safonov.

Annual report of the US state Department on religious freedoms in the world was published in August.

«We carefully analyzed, and in General, there is a consolidated position of the Russian Orthodox Church on the report. We are now preparing a letter to U.S. Secretary of state, Mr. Tillerson, where on behalf of the DECR Chairman (Metropolitan Ilarion — ed.) to Express the position», — said Safonov at a press conference in MIA «Russia today».

He acknowledged that the report «may not be aggressive towards the Russian Orthodox Church, than last year», but «of course there are moments that are not only questions, but also the desire to refute this information, especially with regard to the situation of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church on the territory of Ukraine».

As noted by the representative of the DECR, the report of the US state Department «absolutely one-sided presents this information».

«Not mentioned the numerous cases of arson of temples, beating up priests, and those bills that today Ukraine is preparing to take — completely discriminatory to all religious associations that do not have centers in Ukraine. They are also neglected in the report. The American report is quite subjective and obviously biased in favor of the non-canonical structure, called the UOC-Kyivan Patriarchate,» said Safonov.

Ukraine currently operates the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC-MP), which is a self-governing Church of the Moscow Patriarchate, and unrecognized by the world Orthodox Church structures — the Kyiv Patriarchate (UOC KP) and Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church (UAOC). While the UOC-MP has repeatedly reported on cases of harassment of priests and seizures of the Orthodox churches representatives of the UOC-KP.

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