On September 22, 2022, a round table “Russia-Donbas: the image of the future and the religious community” was held in the Public Chamber of the Russian Federation. Religious figures and state officials took part in the event.
The organizers were the Public Chamber’s Commission on the Harmonization of Inter-National and Inter-Religious Relations and the “Russian Association for the Protection of Religious Freedom” (RAPRF) nonprofit, which previously opposed the independence of the Latvian Church from the ROC.
On behalf of the Russian Orthodox Church, the participants were addressed by the head of GR of the Synodal Department for Church Relations with Society and Mass Media, P.V. Lebedev, and chief of the Sector for Development of Social Projects at the Synodal Department for Church Charity and Social Service, N.A. Setyanova, the ROC press service reports.
In their addresses, the participants emphasized the importance of holding “referenda” on the accession of the self-styled “Donetsk and Luhansk people’s republics”, as well as Kherson and Zaporizhia regions of Ukraine, to Russia.
The Russian Orthodox Church fully supports all of the Kremlin’s crimes and interferes in political issues, be it a referendum or others.
In addition, the round table discussed the participation of Russian religious organizations in the restoration of “peaceful life” in the occupied territories. The attendees also talked about the “peaceful coexistence” of Russia and Ukraine.
The Russian government and religious leaders in Russia have come to the conclusion that the activities of religious organizations are an important factor in public consolidation in Russia and abroad.
Thus, the Ukrainian authorities should take these testimonies of the aggressor into account and take measures to eliminate the Russian church network in Ukraine.
In his speech, the head of the Russian Association for the Protection of Religious Freedom S.A. Melnikov emphasized that the association he leads is ready to provide all kinds of legal support to religious organizations located in the territories of regions where pseudo-referenda are being held.
It should be recalled that Priest Klymenko, who starred at a national song contest, and an UOC-MP bishop called for the UOC-MP’s unification with the OCU, which appeared to sow panic among their church leadership. Also, Russian propagandists concealed a video where a nun of the UOC-MP thanks Russia for “protection”.
It is worth noting that the Russian Orthodox Church lost control over the Latvian and partially Ukrainian Churches after the corresponding changes that occurred in the said Churches.