OCU priests in Russian-occupied territories continue to hold clandestine services

Metropolitan Epiphanius
Metropolitan Epiphanius

The priests of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (OCU) in the Russian-occupied territories continue to conduct clandestine services, the Primate of the OCU, Metropolitan Epiphanius of Kyiv and All Ukraine, said in an interview with U.S.-funded Radio Liberty published on May 5.

"We are operating on the temporarily occupied territories of Donetsk, Luhansk, and Kherson oblasts, but underground... There are still clergy in these regions who clandestinely perform worship services," he said.

At the same time, Ukrainian priests have largely suspended their activities in occupied Crimea.

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According to Epiphanius, the occupation authorities are persecuting OCU representatives. He recounted the case of Father Stepan in occupied part of Kherson Oblast, who was tortured and killed while holding services in the village of Kalanchak.

In light of these dangerous situations, local bishops are urging priests to leave the occupied territories to safeguard their lives.

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine