2019-02-12 13:44:00

U.S. authorities may punish Orthodox Church in America due to stance on Ukraine - Russian MP

Moscow, February 12, Interfax - The United States authorities may resort to discriminatory measures toward the Orthodox Church in America (OCA) for its support of Russia's stance on the infringement of the rights of believers of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Sergey Gavrilov, the head of the Russian State Duma Committee on the Development of Civil Society, said on Tuesday.

"Speaking at the Patriarch's [Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia] jubilee ceremony several days ago, the Primate of the Orthodox Church in America declared support for Russia in the wake of the schism in Ukraine and the suppression of the rights of Ukrainian Orthodox Christians. And, as far as we know, after the delegation's return, the American authorities are preparing serious discriminatory measures in relation to American Orthodox Christians," Gavrilov said at a Duma meeting on Tuesday.

The Orthodox Church in America is an independent and "a purely American organization, which comprises over 100,000 active parishioners," he said.

While the U.S. formally proclaims that freedom of religion is inviolable, the U.S. authorities might be "preparing serious repressions against the Orthodox Church in America," Gavrilov said.