Freedom for Catholics is not self-evident for Russians in occupied Ukraine


Eastern Europe


Ritual in the Ukrainian-Greek Catholic Church. Photo Facebook, Церква Успення Пресвятої Богородиці Тернопіль

The Ukrainian-Greek Catholic Church must cease all activities. That is a new order of the Russian authorities in the annexed region of Zhaporizhia.

Also the Catholic organisations Columbus and Caritas must cease their work in social service, the order from the military-civilian administration of the region reads.

The official document dates from December 2022, but the leaders of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (UGCC) say they did not know about it until just now.

The UGCC calls the ban “unjustified”, as the Russian administration claims that the churches are used “as a storage of explosives and firearms.” In addition, the authorities accuse the Church of letting its parishioners participate in riots and anti-Russian rallies in 2022, distributing literature that rejects the annexation of the region to Russia and participating in “activities of extremist organisations and propaganda of neo-Nazi ideas.”


Not only must the Church liquidate itself, but the authorities also ordered that its property be transferred to them. Lease agreements on land and buildings will be terminated, and the Church will no longer be registered as a religious community in the region.

The UGCC calls on the international community to intervene, the church website reads.


At the same time, the UGCC continues to grow in other Ukrainian regions, RISU writes. Last week, a new church was consecrated in Odesa. Bishop Mykhailo Bubnii performed the rite.

The parish was founded in 2021 but did not have its own building up to now, the UGCC website reports. The building is dedicated to St. Nicholas the Wonderworker, Archbishop of Myr Lykia.



Subscribe for an update, and receive a documentary and e-book for free.

Choose your subscriptions*

You may subscribe to multiple lists.