2019-01-24 18:57:00

Ukrainian authorities' interference with religious life unacceptable - Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia

Moscow, January 24, Interfax - Rabbi Aaron Gurevich of the Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia (FJCR) has criticized Ukrainian authorities' role in deepening the church schism.

"We would like to show solidarity with all those who have expressed concern with the situation around the church schism in Ukraine," Gurevich said at a roundtable in Moscow on Thursday.

In this particular instance the Jewish community is worried primarily by "the direct, overt, demonstrative interference by the state in the church architecture which took centuries to create," Gurevich said.

"We are going back to the Middle Ages when this was one of the levers of secular power on any particular process within the state. But today this is absolutely unacceptable and really does not conform to any European norms," the rabbi said.

He also expressed concern with violent takeovers of temples belonging to the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

The Moscow mufti and Head of the Spiritual Assembly of Muslims of Russia, Albir Krganov, offered words of support to Orthodox Ukrainians.

"Our brothers are in solidarity with the Russian Orthodox Church," Krganov said at the meeting, adding that Muslims found it "very painful to watch at the artificial schism which today is being inflicted on the Christians in Ukraine."

Religion should unite and strengthen social stability, and "playing on religious feelings, exploiting religion for political ends is utterly wrong," Krganov said.