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Russia slams Ukrainian government as 'enemies of Christ' after raids on Orthodox churches

Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev described Ukrainian leaders as "enemies of Christ and the Orthodox faith" and "satanists" for their treatment of members of the parishes.

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Joshua Young Youngsville North Carolina
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On Thursday evening, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky urged lawmakers to pass legislation that would ban Russian affiliated branches of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church while Ukrainian military continues raids on those churches.

According to Reuters, Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev described Ukrainian leaders as "enemies of Christ and the Orthodox faith" and "satanists" for their treatment of members of the parishes.

"This is how the whole Christian world should treat them," Medvedev, who currently serves as the deputy chairman of the Security Council of Russia added.

Of Ukraine's 43 million people, Orthodox Christians are the majority religious group. The Russian Orthodox Church is the largest Eastern Orthodox Church in the world. The Orthodox Church of Ukraine formed in 2019.

In his announcement, Zelensky said in a taped statement, "A meeting of the National Security Defense Council (NSDC) was held today. A meeting at which we examined numerous facts of the ties of certain religious circles in Ukraine with the aggressor state."

"It is necessary to create such conditions in which any figures dependent on the aggressor country will not be able to manipulate Ukrainians and weaken Ukraine from within," he said.

"The NDSC instructed the government to submit to the Verkhovna Rada a bill on the impossibility of the activities of religious organizations affiliated with the centers of influence in the Russian Federation in Ukraine," he added.

"In addition, the state Service for Ethnopolitics and Freedom of Conscience has been instructed to ensure the religious studies examination of the Statute on the Management of the UOC (Ukrainian Orthodox Church) for the presence of a church canonical connection with the Moscow Patriarchate and if necessary, apply the measures provided for by law," Zelensky concluded.

Ukraine claimed they suspected that many priests within the church were collaborating with Russia and promoting pro-Russia views.

Zelensky's request came after a November 22 raid by Ukrainian security services at the Monastery of the Caves, a holy site for Orthodox Christians in Kyiv. Officials were searching for saboteurs and weapons. Ukrainian officials have, as of last month, arrested 33 priests for assisting Russia throughout the country's invasion of Ukraine.

Moscow has condemned the raids.

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