Russian Orthodox Church shares responsibility for war crimes committed in Ukraine — Patriarch
Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew (Photo - screenshot from video)

The Russian Orthodox Church shares responsibility with the Kremlin for war crimes committed in Ukraine, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew stated in Vilnius, reports

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The Patriarch of Constantinople believes that "the church and the leadership of the state in Russia have become aids in the commission of crimes of aggression and share responsibility for such crimes as the outrageous kidnapping of Ukrainian children."

At a conference on intercultural and religious dialogue in the Lithuanian Seimas, Patriarch Bartholomew said that Russia's invasion of Ukraine, officially backed by the Russian Orthodox Church, "caused suffering not only to people in Ukraine, but also to citizens of Russia itself, among whom there are already more than 100,000 victims."

At the conference, the spokeswoman of the Seimas of Lithuania, Viktorija Čmilytė-Nielsen, noted that Orthodox Ukrainians forced to leave Lithuania due to the Russian invasion "cannot pray in the church headed by Kirill, who supported the war."

On February 21, it was reported that the government of Lithuania is conducting negotiations with Patriarch Bartholomew on the creation of an exarchate of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in the country, so that the Orthodox community of the country will have an Orthodox denomination, an alternative to the Vilnius-Lithuanian Diocese, which is subordinate to the Moscow Patriarchate of the Russian Orthodox Church.

  • In April 2022, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania suggested that the European Union introduce sanctions against the Russian Patriarch Kirill.