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Ukraine searches church sites, pushes for ban

Orthodox monks in Kyiv on Dec. 3 Associated Press/Photo by Efrem Lukatsky

Ukraine searches church sites, pushes for ban

Ukraine’s security agency this week posted photos of Russian money, pamphlets, and passports found after searching holy sites of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC). The Ukrainian government is increasing pressure on the UOC, which has centuries-old ties with Moscow. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has called for legislation to block religious groups with Russian affiliations from operating in Ukraine.

What does the UOC say? Leaders say the church does not have ties to Moscow and has loyally supported Ukraine since the start of the war. They also warn that cracking down on the church would give Russia the ability to claim it is protecting Ukraine’s Orthodox worshipers from persecution. The church said back in May that it was independent of Russia, but many Ukrainians believe it is still under Moscow’s thumb.

Dig deeper: Read Jenny Lind Schmitt’s report in WORLD Magazine about sitting with Ukrainians who are coping with the cost of the war.

Josh Schumacher

Josh is a breaking news reporter for WORLD. He’s a graduate of World Journalism Institute and Patrick Henry College.

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