WATCH: Tucker Carlson Exposes Zelenskyy’s Crackdown On Ukrainian Orthodox Churches

Written by K. Walker on March 15, 2023

Very few news organizations are reporting on what is happening with churches in Ukraine.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has been taking a pretty harsh stance against the Ukrainian Orthodox Church after finding Russian leaflets and rubels in some churches.

Since October, Ukraine’s Security Service has “carried out searches at Ukrainian Orthodox churches, imposed sanctions on its bishops and financial backers, and opened criminal cases against dozens of clergymen,” according to Reuters.

Monks have been ejected from an 11th-century monastery, Christians have been imprisoned, and churches are being shut down.

Zelenskiy and other Ukrainian leaders have accused the long-established Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC) of undermining Ukrainian unity and collaborating with Moscow.
Authorities ordered the church last Friday to leave its base in the 980-year-old Pechersk Lavra monastery complex, prompting Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill to ask Pope Francis and other religious leaders to help stop the crackdown…
…In [Kirill’s] appeal, he urged religious leaders and international organisations to “make every effort to prevent the forced closure of the monastery”.
Source: Reuters

The main issue is that the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate) may still have some ties to Russia and the Russian Patriarch has strongly supported Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Of course, just because Kirill is pro-Russia, that doesn’t mean that Ukrainian Christians who are having their lives uprooted, homes destroyed, and loved ones killed in Russian attacks are keen on Putin’s invasion.

It’s important to understand that there is a centuries-long history of the Eastern Orthodox church — which both the Russian Orthodox and Ukrainian Orthodox churches are both connected to — in the region and the structure of the church is a complicated, interconnected web.

The Russian Orthodox Church is “autocephalous” — “self-headed” — which means that the head bishop doesn’t answer to a higher authority. There is ongoing dispute whether the Ukrainian Orthodox Church is “autonomous” — which means it is self-governing in some aspects but is basically under the ecclesiastical headship of the Russian Orthodox Church — or also autocephalous as the Russian Orthodox Church is.

To add even more confusion, in January 2019, the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, the leading authority for Eastern Orthodox Christianity, recognized that the Ukrainian Orthodox Church had formally severed ties with the Russian Orthodox Church.

To sum up: It’s messy and confusing.

Basically, the churches in Ukraine are being punished because of a currently disputed ecclesiastical structure in a denomination that had been established in Ukraine in the 10th century. For context, that’s around the time of the Battle of Hastings where the Normans under William the Conqueror defeated the Anglo-Saxon forces of Harold Godwinson on an island in Western Europe that we now call England.

But I digress…

The Ukrainian Orthodox is still the primary church in Ukraine. An independent Orthodox Church, the Ukrainian Orthodox Kyiv Patriarchate — without ties to Russia — was formed in 1991 after the collapse of the Soviet Union, but it was only recognized by the Eastern Orthodox church hierarchy in 2018. That would be after Biden’s demand to ditch the Ukrainian prosecutor looking into Ukrainian energy company, Burisma, where Hunter was on the board of directors.

In one of his recent nightly video addresses, Zelenskyy insisted that this crackdown was a move to strengthen Ukraine’s “spiritual independence” from Russia and said that Ukrainians have reacted positively to the move.

“We will continue this movement,” said Zelenskyy. “We will not allow the terrorist state any opportunity to manipulate the spiritual life of our people, to destroy Ukrainian shrines — our Lavras — or to steal values from them.”

Here is Tucker Carlson and guest Megan Basham of the Daily Wire commenting on the media silence around what could be legitimately called the government persecution of Ukrainian Orthodox Christians.

Christianity Today could spare the column inches to bash Trump, but can’t seem to find room to denounce Zelenskyy shutting down churches where faithful Christians are gathering to worship.



Reuters Staff. “Zelenskiy: Ukraine seeks ‘spiritual independence’, acts against church.” Reuters. March 12, 2023.

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ClashDaily's Associate Editor since August 2016. Self-described political junkie, anti-Third Wave Feminist, and a nightmare to the 'intersectional' crowd. Mrs. Walker has taken a stand against 'white privilege' education in public schools. She's also an amateur Playwright, former Drama teacher, and staunch defender of the Oxford comma. Follow her humble musings on Twitter: @TheMrsKnowItAll and on Gettr @KarenWalker