Ukraine: Russian Orthodox Old Believer Church of Ukraine expresses desire of autocephaly

The request for autocephaly is stated in an official letter to the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Old Believer Church Cornelius, Metropolitan of Moscow and all Russia, to the Primate of the Old Orthodox Old Believer Church of the Belokrinitski hierarchy Leontius, Archbishop of Belokrinitsk and Bucharest, and to all the clergy of the Church. The appeal of the clergy of the Archdiocese of the Russian Orthodox Old Believer Church of Kyiv and All Ukraine also harshly criticized Russia's war against Ukraine.

"We see and hear the testimonies of those who survived, who became victims and eyewitnesses of unprovoked atrocities, looting, and violence against civilians. Which, unfortunately, is taking place on the part of the troops who unexpectedly came to the territory of our state. Therefore, we deem it necessary to confirm our beliefs about the following: "There were no facts on the territory of Ukraine that the authorities banned preaching or Christian communion in any language, including Russian, in Old Believer churches, communities and families.

Perhaps some Christians of Ukraine consider themselves carriers of the "Russian World", but they also have neither the public nor ecclesiastical right to violate or agree with the violation of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the state in which they were born and live. If they are not satisfied with the current state structure, they can peacefully leave the state's territory and move, following the Christian example of their ancestors.

There were no cases before, and now the Old Believers of Ukraine do not promote the superiority of the Ukrainian nation over the Russian one, respectively. The concept of "Nazism" is not applied in this situation. Only the facts of the call for respect by the surrounding states for the territorial sovereignty of Ukraine are known.

We categorically cannot agree that the military actions of the Russian Federation troops are forced and necessary in the current political situation."

With this in mind, the clergymen of the Archidiocese of the Russian Orthodox Old Believer Church of Kyiv and All Ukraine ask for autocephaly:

"Taking into account the above, as well as the fact of the existence of a separate, sovereign state of Ukraine, taking into account the numerous appeals received since the beginning of the war from the children of the Holy Church who are in Ukraine, and per our personal beliefs, we strongly ask you to consider granting autocephaly to our archdiocese, Kyiv and all Ukraine."

According to the practice of the Holy Church, autocephaly can only be granted to the Church by the Ecumenical Council... We understand that it is physically impossible to organize a meeting of the General Cathedral of the Holy Church right now. However, we see it quite possible in such a forced situation to hold such a Council on our issue with the help of technical means of communication... We are ready to take on all technical preparations for holding the Council in this way," the appeal says.

The clergy ask Metropolitan Cornelius to promptly respond to this request.

Separately, the clergy of the Kyiv and all Ukraine Archdiocese of the Russian Orthodox Old Believer Church stated that they consider unacceptable public calls from the church hierarchs of the Russian Orthodox Old Believer Church to the Old Believers of Ukraine to stop resisting armed aggression, lay down their weapons and stop defending Ukraine. (Quelle: www.risu.ua, 9. April 2022)

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