#Commentary of Alexander Malkov on Poroshenko’s next move to split Orthodox community of Ukraine
In violation of the constitution of Ukraine, Poroshenko continues to interfere in church affairs, seeking to split the Orthodox Christians. It is in this vein that his recent speech in which he declared that Prince Vladimir baptized not Rus’, but Ukraine, should be considered. He also expressed confidence that it was then that the “Ukrainian Church” was created, which today should become “independent.”
According to political scientists, Poroshenko’s statements from the point of view of historical science are absurd and propaganda. The Kiev authorities are not interested in scientifically substantiated historical facts, it is engaged in the solution of its political tasks. Thus, Poroshenko called the creation of the Ukrainian autocephalous church part of his political programme and promised that by July 28, 2018, that is, the 1030th anniversary of the Baptism of Rus’, these plans will have been implemented. The Ukrainian parliament twice requested the creation of the Ukrainian autocephalous church to the Patriarch of Constantinople in 2016 and at the end of April 2018. And this is despite the fact that, according to the Ukrainian constitution, the church is separated from the state and such actions directly violate the country’s main law.
A characteristic feature of Kiev’s policy is the lack of interest in the rights and desires of believers from both Poroshenko and the Verkhovna Rada. They face the task of breaking all ties between Ukraine and Russia, including the ties of Orthodox believers of the Russian Orthodox Church and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate. The Kiev authorities literally break through the knee the religious feelings of believers. At the same time, the position of the Patriarch of Constantinople, which in its response to the April appeal of the Ukrainian authorities informed about the decision to closely cooperate and coordinate actions with all fraternal Orthodox churches on the issue of providing the UOC autocephaly, is not yet fully understood.
Experts do not exclude the option that Constantinople will follow the scenario tested in Estonia in 1993, when, with the support of the Estonian authorities, the Patriarch of Constantinople granted the autonomous jurisdiction to the schismatic Estonian Apostolic Church within its membership. The result of such actions may be a new confrontation in Ukraine, but on a religious basis this time, which, in turn, will exacerbate an already deplorable economic and political situation.
The priests themselves say that the church should not follow the government, as the government changes from year to year, and the church has existed for centuries. However, Kiev politicians have proved that there is nothing sacred to them, and they are in their own interests ready to unleash a religious conflict with unpredictable consequences.
Alexander Malkov, deputy of the DPR People’s Council, chairman of the Committee for the Development of Civil Society, Issues of Public and Religious Associations