Orthodox church buildings suffer under heavy Russian attacks


Eastern Europe


A women clears some debries of the Russian Orthodox Church in Malyn which was partially destroyed after being bombed by Russian aircraft. Photo EPA, Miguel A. Lopes

Russian attacks on Ukraine have already destroyed or damaged 44 religious buildings in 7 regions.

Heavy shellings, bombings and rockets have hit Orthodox churches in particular, Olena Bohdan, head of the State Service for Ethnopolitics and Freedom of Conscience, said to Ukringform during an online press conference.

Many of these churches belong to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church under the Moscow Patriarchate. From the first day of the invasion, this part of the Moscow-oriented church is much on Ukraine's side. Metropolitan Onufry has condemned the military operation, and the church's news website speaks openly about "war" in the headlines.

Bohdan added that Kremlin propagandists are covering up their imperial ambitions with theses of defending orthodoxy. "At the same time, an aggressive attack by Russian troops is destroying Orthodox churches and other shrines in Ukraine's religious communities."

Religious buildings in the regions of Kyiv, Donetsk, Zhytomyr, Zaporizhya, Luhansk, Kharkov, and Chernihiv were damaged. Bohdan: "In most of these cases, the Orthodox church suffered. Also, 3 Protestant religious buildings, 3 Jewish, 1 Roman Catholic and 1 mosque were damaged."

Ukraine has filed a lawsuit against Russia with the UN International Court of Justice in The Hague, Ukringform writes.



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