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    Consul of Greece: for Ukraine’s case against Kirill important to be more active in explaining church events to foreign audiences

    The criminal proceedings that Ukrainian law enforcement has initiated against Mospatriarch Kirill may be part of efforts aimed at making the international community understand what is happening in the church sphere in Ukraine.

    A significant part of public opinion in the partner countries is under the influence of Russian propaganda about the suppression of religious beliefs. In order to change this, both the Ukrainian state and the Ukrainian Church should make efforts, believes Pantelis Bumbouras, Honorary Consul of the Greek Republic in the city of Kherson with the consular district of the territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the Kherson region, founder of the Hefest construction company.

    In an exclusive comment for the Spiritual Front of Ukraine, Mr. Bumbouras notes: Ukrainian special services initiated a criminal case against Russian Patriarch Kirill and declared him wanted. For the most part, we understand that Kirill has no intention of coming to Ukraine to stand trial, so it can be assumed that this move by the Ukrainian law enforcement is an intermediate step toward the strategic goal. Namely, issuing a warrant for his arrest through Interpol, so that he, like the Russian dictator Putin, could not travel to any democratic country. And the strategic perspective is bringing Kirill to the tribunal as an accomplice in Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine.

    One of the obstacles, in my opinion, for such a project is that the Ukrainian side has not adequately and unconvincingly explained to the rest of the world what is happening with the Russian Church in Ukraine. Since propaganda has been Russia’s privileged domain for years, various media and opinion leaders in different countries, including Greece, are spreading the idea that priests in Ukraine are being persecuted for their ideas. That is, the ongoing criminal proceedings do not concern specific crimes as defined by the Ukrainian Criminal Code, but concern ideas and beliefs. Since the Western allies of Ukraine are particularly sensitive, and, in my opinion, rightly so, to the issue of freedom of expression of views and beliefs, they do not like the ‘persecution of ideas and religions.’ This is the area in which Ukrainian positions need to be strengthened.

    The Ukrainian authorities and the legitimate Church of Ukraine should pay more attention and make efforts to adequately explain to the world what is happening in the church sphere. This is especially important if they want processes like the one happening with Kirill to be successful. Otherwise, the result may contradict the goals of the Ukrainian authorities.

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