Ukraine does not fight against the church as a religious institution but confronts those related to it who threaten national security. This is how Oleksiy Danilov, Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council, commented on the SBU raids targeting facilities of the UOC in unity with the Moscow Patriarchate.
Speaking with Voice of America, Danilov assured that appropriate measures will be taken against the members of the UOC of the Moscow Patriarchate who have been exposed or will be exposed as working for Russia.
“I’d like to note that we are not fighting the church as a religious institution. We are making decisions today regarding the persons directly involved in this process. And if the SBU, which conducts this work, believes someone is a threat to our country, we issue the appropriate decisions, and we don’t care if the person is wearing a cassock, Brioni, or some other clothing,” Danilov said.
He emphasized that this applies to anyone who supports the Russian Federation, helps it, and works to the detriment of Ukraine’s national security. Danilov drew attention to the fact that this situation has been in place for a long period.
“This is an old process, and taking into account the fact that these are sensitive issues, the SBU should already have one 100 percent proof that these people are cooperating and involved in this, and that there are appropriate criminal proceedings against each culprit. Therefore, this process has moved from a dead point,” added the secretary of the NSDC.
He expressed his vision of the situation and stated that, unfortunately, in Ukraine for 30 years the authorities had not paid attention to the specified problem and allowed certain people to behave the way they do.
“But they should have at one time, especially after February 24, taken the side of our country, completely renounce all that’s Russian, if it was there, and put an end to this issue. Unfortunately, not everyone did so, And those who didn’t do it or won’t do it will face consequences,” Danilov concluded.
As the Spiritual Front of Ukraine wrote earlier, the authorities are probing collaborators among the UOC-MP clerics The entire UOC MP did not approve of the effort and actually opposed the decisions of the NSDC, President, and Security Service of Ukraine.
On December 1, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky approved the decision of the National Security Council to ban religious organizations associated with Russia. Having considered the activities of religious organizations on the territory of Ukraine in the conditions of Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine, with the aim of ensuring spiritual independence, preventing a split in society on religious grounds, promoting the consolidation of Ukrainian society, and protecting national interests, the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine decided to instruct the Cabinet of Ministers to introduce a two-month deadline for consideration by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine the draft law on “preventing the activities in Ukraine of religious organizations affiliated with centers of influence in the Russian Federation in accordance with the norms of international legislation in the field of freedom of conscience and Ukraine’s obligations in connection with joining the Council of Europe.”
It is worth emphasizing that the SBU does not prohibit religious services, does not bring groundless accusations against metropolitans and priests of the UOC MP, does not forbid believers of the UOC MP to pray, but acts exclusively within the framework of Constitution. This is about banning collaborationist activities of the UOC MP. The results of the raids confirm the success of the SBU efforts.