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The Persecution of Christians by Zelensky’s Ukraine

“Ukraine’s security forces are carrying out raids of churches and arresting their clerics on accusations of treason.”


Ukraine is notoriously identified as one of the most corrupt countries in the world and certainly the most corrupt in Europe.[1] In 2014, Ukraine was the scene of a colour revolution that was sponsored by globalist organisations such as George Soros’s Open Society and Klaus Schwab’s WEF.[2] Ever since, Ukraine has also become the world’s most popular money-laundering state.[3]

Then, after Covid, along came the war in Ukraine on February 24, 2022, and the leader of the most corrupt country on the continent was suddenly given “hero” status.[4] Curiously, Schwab has bragged about helping elect Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky, whose regime remains strongly supported by him and Soros.[5]  His government is known for banning political parties and closing every media outlet except the government’s propaganda agency.[6]

Unfortunately, Zelensky continues to show his true colours as a ruthless oligarchical dictator, this time cracking down on leaders of his country’s Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC). The Ukrainian dictator claims that these priests are secretly collaborating with Russia. The UOC, however, says there is no evidence to support the charges.[7]

Since the end of last year, the Zelensky regime has been severely persecuting this Church, accusing it of having links with Russia. By order of the Ukrainian president, many churches have been violently attacked, closed and destroyed. At the same time, the mobs who organise violence in churches are protected by the government authorities. The involvement of the Azov movement in violent actions against priests is particularly disturbing because the Azov adherents embrace Neo-Nazi imagery and practices.[8]

Ukraine’s security forces are carrying out raids of churches and arresting their clerics on accusations of treason. In an open letter dated April 12 to Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, Sylvester, vicar of the Kyiv Metropoly and rector of the Kyiv Theological Academy and Seminary, declared that this state-sponsored violence against the church is taking place with the effective support of law enforcement authorities. According to him,

“The right to freedom of conscience and religious beliefs is being openly violated in Ukraine. It is quite obvious since the end of 2022, the Ukrainian state has set a course for the gradual destruction of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church”.[9]

Russia and Ukraine have the largest number of Christians in Europe. The Eastern Orthodox Church is the world’s second-largest Christian denomination, with approximately 220 million baptised members. As one of the oldest surviving religious institutions in the world, the Orthodox Church has played a prominent role in the history and culture of Eastern Europe. In Ukraine, the canonical Orthodox Church calls itself the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC). In May 1992, the heads of all Orthodox Churches, including Constantinople and the Greek Church, emphasised the recognition of UOC as “the only Church that was canonical and independent in its administration of the territory of the newly created state of Ukraine”.[10]

The majority of Christians in Ukraine are UOC members, especially those who live in eastern Ukraine. The Perchersk Lavra is a historic monastery and Ukraine’s most revered Orthodox site. It is located in the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv. The monastery officially split from the Moscow patriarchate after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.[11] However, two months ago the Ukrainian government issued an eviction notice to the over 1,000 monks occupying this monastery.[12] This decision comes despite the UOC officially decrying Russia’s invasion of Ukraine when it first took place, and ultimately cutting off its connection with the Moscow patriarchate due to the “special military operation”.[13]

According to the Ukrainian dictator, the eviction of the monks from the Lavra monastery is a step towards strengthening the country’s independence from Russia. However, the UOC has insisted that the Church is loyal to Ukraine and has denounced the Russian invasion.  Dozens of Orthodox people gathered outside the monastery on 1st April to protest against the eviction, including third-year seminary student who was dressed in a priest’s robes and with a Ukrainian flag draped around his shoulders. He insisted the Lavra priests and residents were in no way pro-Russian:

“Look at me, I’m in priest’s clothes, with a Ukrainian flag and a cross around my neck. Could you say that I’m pro-Russian? The priests are currently singing a Ukrainian hymn, and they’re being called pro-Russian. Can you believe it.”[14]

The process of evicting monks from the Lavra monastery began on 30th March. On 10th April, law enforcement agents started to conduct an extensive operation to deliver subpoenas to monks and seminary students on the premises of the monastery to appear for questioning.[15] The Ukrainian Orthodox Church leader, Metropolitan Clement, claims that the Zelensky regime has no legal ground for evicting the monks from the church grounds, adding: “If the government forces us to do it illegally, it’s called totalitarianism. We don’t need such state or government. We have the constitution and laws. We don’t accept other methods”.[16]

The abbot of the Lavra monastery, Metropolitan Pavel, has accused the Ukrainian Minister of Culture of being “possessed by anger, hatred, and diabolical rampage”.[17] After making these comments, he was put under house arrest on 1st April and accused of “justifying Russian aggression”, a criminal offence.[18]  The Metropolitan says the claim by the Security Service of Ukraine, known as SBU, that he condoned Russia’s invasion is politically driven and that he has “never been on the side of aggression”. “I am accepting this”, he said after a monitoring bracelet was placed around his ankle. “Christ was crucified on the cross, so why shouldn’t I accept this?”[19]

The persecution of Orthodox Christians in Ukraine continues to gain momentum. On Wednesday, Ukrainian police detained near the Lavra monastery a human rights activist who advocates for the rights of the church. “Human rights activist Viktoria Kokhanovskaya was abducted during a live broadcast. Eyewitnesses said that police had grabbed her in such a barbaric way”, the UOC reported attaching the video showing her police abduction.[20] This is the kind of persecution commonly associated with Stalin’s Soviet Union.

There is also enough evidence that the Ukrainian Orthodox Church is being oppressed by fraudsters disguised as clergy. This is all part of an organised and planned movement of “liberal Orthodoxy” into the so-called “Orthodox Church of Ukraine” (‘OCU’). Many leaders of the Orthodox Church all over the world have stated that no person of the Orthodox faith should go to these churches sponsored by the Ukrainian government. According to Patriarch Theodosy (Snigiryov) of Boyarka,

“There was and is no Apostolic Succession there, and that means there is no sacramental grace …  While it seems common to refer to the “clergy” of the OCU as mere laymen, it would be more accurate to say that they are not even laymen, given that they are not members of the [authentic] Orthodox Church”. [21]

And yet, one should not be surprised when state-sponsored soldiers in the Ukrainian capital seize churches and monasteries, assault priests and monks of the canonical Orthodox Church, and forcibly install the members of the new pro-government sect in the holy places.[22] The Zelensky regime is notoriously hostile to Christian morality and it openly supports all forms of woke agendas which has led not only to abortion-on-demand and transgenderism, but also the strange phenomenon of the LGBTIQ+ soldiers who are willing to fight against Russia.[23]

To conclude, Orthodox Christians in Ukraine are under tremendous persecution. And yet, Western leaders, including the Australian Prime Minister, have miserably failed to condemn this egregious instance of Christophobia, or the persecution of Christians, in Ukraine. I am afraid this is only the beginning. The consequences of providing financial and military support, as well as engaging in passionate displays of affection for the leftist dictator of Ukraine are extremely insensitive to the millions of Ukrainians suffering from the war and religious persecution.

Augusto Zimmermann is professor and Head of Law at Sheridan Institute of Higher Education, in Perth, Western Australia. He is a former Director of Postgraduate Research (2011-2012 and 2015-2017) and Associate Dean, Research (2010-2012) at Murdoch University. During his time at Murdoch, Dr Zimmermann was awarded the University’s Vice Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Research in 2012. He is also a former Commissioner with the Law Reform Commission of Western Australia (2012-2017), and President of the Western Australian Legal Theory Association (WALTA). Dr Zimmermann is the author of numerous academic articles and books, including ‘Foundations of the Australian Legal System: History, Theory and Practice’ (LexisNexis, 2023).


[1] Oliver Bullough, ‘Welcome to Ukraine, the most corrupt nation in Europe’, The Guardian, 6 February 2015,

[2] Thane Angus, ‘Ukraine: Part Two of the Great Reset’, The Postil Magazine, March 1, 2023, https://www.theguardian.com/news/2015/feb/04/welcome-to-the-most-corrupt-nation-in-europe-ukraine

[3] ‘Foreign aid to Ukraine a money laundering scheme, head of Chechnya says’, TASS, January 8, 2023, https://tass.com/politics/1559463

[4] Thane Angus, ‘Ukraine: Part Two of the Great Reset’, The Postil Magazine, March 1, 2023, https://www.thepostil.com/ukraine-part-two-of-the-great-reset/

[5] Jack Bingham, ‘Ukrainian President Zelensky is tied to Klaus Schwab, Justin Trudeau, and other global elites’, LifeSiteNews, March 3, 2022, https://www.lifesitenews.com/blogs/why-would-the-ukrainian-president-cite-justin-trudeau-as-an-inspiration/

[6] Augusto Zimmermann, ‘Who is Volodymyr Zelensky, the Idolised President of Ukraine?’, Caldron Pool, 13 March 2022, https://caldronpool.com/who-is-volodymyr-zelensky-the-idolised-president-of-ukraine/

[7] Hugo Bachega, ‘Ukraine War: Orthodox clerics say they will not leave Kyiv monastery’, BBC News, 29 March 2023, https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-65117269.

[8] ‘Why Is Zelensky’s Ukraine Attacking the Orthodox Church?’, The Gateway Pundit, 25 December 2022, https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2022/12/zelenkys-ukraine-attacking-orthodox-church/

[9] Archbishop Silvester of Bilogorodka, ‘An Open Letter to His All-Holiness Bartholomew, Archbishop of Constantinople – Ecumenical Patriarch’, 12 April 2023, http://kdais.kiev.ua/event/an-open-letter-12042023/

[10] Archbishop Theodosy (Snigiryov) of Boyarka, ‘If the Phanar Continuous to Systematically Split Orthodoxy, Then Anything Can Happen’,

[11] Hugo Bachega, ‘Ukraine War: Orthodox clerics say they will not leave Kyiv monastery’, BBC News, 29 March 2023, https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-65117269.

[12] Kelen McBreen, ‘Ukraine’s War On Orthodox Church Exposes Zelensky’s Dictatorship’, Infowars, March 30, 2023, https://www.infowars.com/posts/ukraines-war-on-orthodox-church-exposes-zelenskys-dictatorship/

[13] Kelen McBreen, ‘Ukraine’s War On Orthodox Church Exposes Zelensky’s Dictatorship’, Infowars, March 30, 2023, https://www.infowars.com/posts/ukraines-war-on-orthodox-church-exposes-zelenskys-dictatorship/

[14] ‘Orthodox leader in Kyiv ordered under house arrest by Ukrainian court’, PBS News Hour, April 1, 2023, https://www.pbs.org/newshour/world/orthodox-leader-in-kyiv-ordered-under-house-arrest-by-ukrainian-court#:~:text=KYIV%2C%20Ukraine%20(AP)%20%E2%80%94,over%20a%20famed%20Orthodox%20monastery.

[15] ‘Police issue subpoenas to Kiev-Pechersk Lavra monks to appear for questioning’, TASS, 11 April 2023, https://tass.com/world/1602283

[16] Hugo Bachega, ‘Ukraine War: Orthodox clerics say they will not leave Kyiv monastery’, BBC News, 29 March 2023, https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-65117269.

[17] ‘Russia-backed Church Leader Lashes Out at Zelensky and His Family’, Kyiv Post, March 30, 2023, https://www.kyivpost.com/post/15125 

[18] ‘Orthodox leader in Kyiv ordered under house arrest by Ukrainian court’, PBS News Hour, April 1, 2023, https://www.pbs.org/newshour/world/orthodox-leader-in-kyiv-ordered-under-house-arrest-by-ukrainian-court#:~:text=KYIV%2C%20Ukraine%20(AP)%20%E2%80%94,over%20a%20famed%20Orthodox%20monastery.

[19] ‘Orthodox leader in Kyiv ordered under house arrest by Ukrainian court’, PBS News Hour, April 1, 2023, https://www.pbs.org/newshour/world/orthodox-leader-in-kyiv-ordered-under-house-arrest-by-ukrainian-court#:~:text=KYIV%2C%20Ukraine%20(AP)%20%E2%80%94,over%20a%20famed%20Orthodox%20monastery.

[20] ‘Police detain woman advocating for Ukrainian Orthodox church near Kiev-Pechersk Lavra’, TASS, 20 April 2023, https://tass.com/emergencies/1606851

[21] Archbishop Theodosy (Snigiryov) of Boyarka, ‘If the Phanar Continuous to Systematically Split Orthodoxy, Then Anything Can Happen’, Orthodox Christianity, 28 October 2019, https://orthochristian.com/125002.html.

[22] ‘The Persecuted Church in Ukraine: Have We Lost Our Courage?’, Orthodox Reflections, January 12, 2023, https://orthodoxreflections.com/the-persecuted-church-in-ukraine-have-we-lost-our-courage/

[23] Lucien Cerise, ‘Wokism: The Engine of War in Ukraine and Poland’, The Postil Magazine, 1 March 2023, https://www.thepostil.com/wokism-the-engine-of-war-in-ukraine-and-poland/

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