The Orthodox Public Affairs Committee (OPAC) decries the punishment of clergymen of the Russian Orthodox Church under Patriarch Kirill for opposing the war against Ukraine. Although there are tens of thousands of Russian Clergy, around three hundred have actively opposed the war and its support by Kirill. They have defied the Russian Church leader by substituting the word “peace” for “victory” in Putin-centric prayers mandated by the Russian Church Hierarchy. Some, like Father Ioann Koval have been defrocked and sought refuge under the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople.
Not only does Kirill and his cronies continue to compromise the integrity of the Russian Orthodox Church, they betray the “Prince of Peace” by pushing a war of aggression and conquest that is being waged under the guise of the infamous doctrine of Russkiy Mir and Putin’s imperial fantasies. In recent days, the blessing by a Russian Priest of a statue of the greatest persecutor of the Russian Church, Joseph Stalin, only goes to further demonstrate that the Russian Orthodox Church is aligned with autocracy and tyranny in ways that violate the most fundamental teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ.
OPAC calls on the World Council of Churches to condemn the persecution of Russian Clergy who are advocating for peace instead of war, and to take action against Kirill and his cronies, denying them a place at the ecumenical table, where they still pretend to be interested in the Gospel.
Finally, OPAC continues to express its deep concern over the complicity of the Moscow Patriarchate’s leadership in the war crimes being perpetrated in Ukraine and calls for an immediate cessation of Russian aggression and murder, and for there to be a just settlement for the Ukrainian People and Church against the Russian Government of Putin and his puppet-church under Kirill.