The rapid decline happened even before the Bucha massacre was exposed, says the spokesman for the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, Archbishop Yevstratiy of Chernihiv and Nizhyn.
There is a spiritual front in Ukraine, Yevstratiy said, adding that the number of OCU supporters has increased significantly since the full-scale invasion.
“Many of the faithful, who even before the beginning of Putin’s aggression identified as those belonging to the Moscow Patriarchate (ROCCinU – ed.), have changed their position. So far, we only have data for March 2022. It is now June, so I think more recent sociological data will appear. But I can refer to the research run in March. And this is even before the widespread publicity that the acts of genocide in Bucha and other suburbs of Kyiv gained… The number of followers of the Moscow Patriarchate in Ukraine decreased by three quarters. Until February 24, 15% of our fellow citizens identified as supporters of the Moscow Patriarchate, and in March, it was only 4%. Meanwhile, 38% had joined the Orthodox Church of Ukraine before the start of the attack, and already 52% in March,” the spokesman for the OCU told Channel 5.
He added: “That is, comparing these figures, I can say that the number of followers of the OCU in March was 13 times greater than the number of supporters of the Moscow Patriarchate. And that is why jurisdiction of religious communities is changing. At the end of May, we recorded more than 400 religious communities that left the MP and changed jurisdiction.”
Archbishop Yevstratiy also recalled that in one of his addresses, Metropolitan Epifaniy said every Russian bomb, every Russian projectile, or missile that falls on Ukrainian soil, actually destroys faith in the “Russian world”. That is, they not only destroy property and kill Ukrainians, they also provide an additional argument for the realization that the ideology of the “Russian world”, which is spread, including by the structures of the Moscow Patriarchate throughout the world, is fascist ideology.
“This is a misanthropic ideology that, in fact, justifies the murders, acts of terror, and genocide that the Russian army committed and continues to commit on Ukrainian soil,” the archbishop concluded.