Zakharchenko: creating national Church in Ukraine is fueling sectarian war

© RIA Novosti / Kirill to Kallinikova in fotobanka Donetsk national Republic Alexander Zakharchenko. Archival photoZakharchenko: creating national Church in Ukraine is fueling sectarian war© RIA Novosti / Kirill to Kallinikova the image Bank

The creation in Ukraine of a local Autocephalous Church may ignite sectarian war, says the self-proclaimed head of the Donetsk national Republic Alexander Zakharchenko.

The President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko is trying to achieve recognition of non-canonical structures and the creation on their basis one local Autocephalous Church. In response to the appeal of the secular authorities, the Synod of the Patriarchate of Constantinople declared that «has decided on the request to be in close communion with the other sister Orthodox churches for their information and coordination». Poroshenko believes that Tomos (decree) of autocephaly to be signed «to 1030 anniversary of the baptism of Ukraine-Rus ‘» (July 28).

«At the moment there are three churches: the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Kyiv Patriarchate, the Ukrainian Autocephalous Church. Two churches illegal, the only recognized is the Church of the Moscow Patriarchate. Now the Kiev government is trying to create a new local Church and for that requests permission of the Ecumenical Patriarch. I believe that the establishment of the local Church will foment religious war», said on Monday, Zakharchenko told reporters.

In his opinion, the establishment of the local Church «will lead to more zombie population of Ukraine». Zakharchenko also promised not to allow sectarian war in the territory of the DNI.

In Ukraine today there are 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 «Kiev Patriarchate» (UOC-KP) and Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church (UAOC). The UOC-MP has repeatedly reported on cases of harassment of priests and seizures of the Orthodox churches of the dissenters.

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