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Monday, November 29, 2021

Expert: Religious tension will increase following Bartholomew’s visit

The trip of the head of Phanar to Ukraine was not a visit of reconciliation or a search for compromises, Ruslan Bortnik stated.

After the arrival of Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, religious tension in Ukraine may increase. Political expert, Director of the Ukrainian Institute of Politics Ruslan Bortnik said this in a comment to the UOJ.

“It was a political visit, but not a visit of reconciliation, search for compromises, or reflection on previously made decisions. In general, it maintains or even increases the current religious tension in Ukraine,” he said.

The expert explained that the meetings of the head of Phanar with political leaders, in particular with President Vladimir Zelensky, can be interpreted by radical circles in the regions “as a sign that the authorities support the OCU.” According to Ruslan Bortnik, “in turn, this may serve as a new round of confrontations and new attempts to seize churches and stir up conflicts between religious communities in the Ukrainian regions.”

A lot of experts and public figures expect more persecution and discrimination of the UOC after the arrival of Patriarch Bartholomew to Ukraine and his meetings with the authorities. The UOC itself has repeatedly warned about the possible adverse consequences of the visit. 

As the UOJ wrote, according to political expert Dmitry Korneichuk, Zelensky deliberately uses provocations in the religious sphere.

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