a Ph.D in History, a senior researcher at Religion Science Department of the H. Skovoroda Institute of Philosophy of the National Academy of Science (NAS) of Ukraine
Christian Churches of Donechchyna
(In the Context of Russian Military Aggression)
The Crimea occupation by the Russian army in March, 2014 and the proclamation of the quasistates – DNR and LNR – have created the extremely difficult conditions for the existence and activity of the prevailing majority of religious organizations of various denominations.
At the beginning of 2014 there have been 1797 registered religious organizations in Donetsk region. The Christian communities have formed at that time 91.5 % from the whole religious system of the region. Religious organizations of Ukrainian Orthodox Church (of Moscow Patriarchate) have been 42.4 % from the total number of the registered religious organizations.
The Russian media have advanced the separatism idea in the region before the beginning of the conflict escalation. They have appealed to the myths about the inhibitions of the Russian language, culture and the Orthodoxy of Moscow Patriarchate. The conflict beginning itself is connected directly with the ideological and military interference of the Russian Federation.
In February 13, 2014 the representatives of various creeds (except MP) have announced the creation of the CCRODR (Council of Churches and Religious Organizations of Donetsk Region). According to its resolution the Interconfessional Prayerful Marathon for Unity, Peace and Harmony in Ukraine Pray for Ukraine has started from March 4, 2014. The Council of Churches and Religious Organizations of Donetsk Region together with the Centre of Religion Studies and International Spiritual Relations have become one of the founders of the Committee of the Donbas Patriotic Forces and signed the joint Manifest. The situation in the region has become worse roughly from May: the activists disposed to Russia have committed a chain of the attacks on the Catholics, the believers of the Protestant churches. The purposeful stealings of the parsons and the priests, their cruel examinations and torture, mass seizure of the temples and prayerful houses, their destruction, etc. have become a norm on the occupied territories of Donetsk region. The chronicle of the religious oppressions in the region is presented in the article.
All pastors and the majority of the believers of the RomanCatholic Church, almost all authoritative attendants of the churches of the Christians of the Gospel Faith and other creeds, christened by the Holy Spirit, etc., have been forced to leave.
Thus, at the beginning of the Russian aggression the majority of the religious organizations of the largest creeds in the region have been the active patriots, supporting the constitutional unity of Ukraine. Just they have suffered the persecutions, oppressions, arrests, they have been deprived of the property. The most active believers have been forced to leave the occupied terrains. Only the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (of Moscow Patriarchate), according to quite clear reasons, have taken the neutral position and become the predominant confession on the DNR territory.
Military conflict in Donetsk region, violations of religion freedom, stealing of pastors and priests, seizure of churches and prayer houses, crimes against humanity, CCRODR (Council of Churches and Religious Organizations of Donetsk Region), Interconfessional prayerful marathon, prayers for peace and unity.
- Donetsk Religious Organizations Disputes Ukraine’s Split (electronic resource). Available at: http://baznica.info/article/doneckie-religioznye-organizacii-vystupili-protiv-/
- A Statement of the Council of Churches and Religious Organizations of Donetsk Region in Connection with Incidents by the Donetsk Synagogue (electronic resource). Available at: http://catholicnews.org.ua/zayava-radi-cerkov-i-religiynih-organizaciy-doneckoyi-oblasti-u-zvyazku-z-podiyami-bilya-doneckoyi.
- A Statement of the Council of Churches and Religious Organizations of Donetsk Region in Connection with an Attack on a Prayer Tent on April 30, 2014 (electronic resource). Available at: http://rcirodo.com.
- A Press-Conference of the Council ofChurches and Religious Organizations of Donetsk Region (CCRODo) (electronic resource). Available at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ezazmETbQ3o&feature=share.
- A Press-Conference of the Council of Churches and Religious Organizations. 14.03.2014(electronic resource). Available at: http://crsr.org.ua/news/10-news/230-2014_03_14_press.html.
- DPR’s Terrorists Kidnap, Torture, and Threaten Donbas Believers (electronic resource). Available at: http://www.irs.in.ua/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1430%3A1&catid=34%3Aua&Itemid=61&lang=uk#.U4gHfGAoh64.facebook.
- People are Praying for Peace and Unity for 90 Days Running in Downtown Donetsk (electronic resource). Available at:http://risu.org.ua/ua/index/all_news/state/national_religious_question/56640/.
- Terror Chronology: DPR and LPR Militants Persecute Donbas Christians (electronic resource). Available at: http://www.irs.in.ua/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1456%3A1&catid=34%3Aua&Itemid=61&lang=uk.