Moscow, January 4, Interfax - Ukrainian customs authorities have seized printed copies of a Christmas greeting by Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia sent to Ukraine in the run-up to Orthodox Christmas observed on January 7, the Moscow Patriarchate said.
"Sources in Ukraine have said that the local customs authorities seized copies of Patriarch Kirill's Christmas greeting earlier sent from Russia to be read out as per tradition during the holiday service on January 7," Vladimir Legoyda, the head of the Synodal Department for Church, Society and Media Relations, said on Telegram.
This was done on the pretext that some customs formalities were not properly observed, Legoyda said. However, "the times are different now, and it can be read out from a smartphone as well."
"As for the vigilant Ukrainian customs officials, let them prepare holes for new stars on their shoulder boards, since these are more important to them than the Star of Bethlehem," Legoyda said sarcastically.