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Two famous Belarusian priests passed under the omophorion of the Ecumenical Patriarchate

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Two famous Belarusian priests passed under the omophorion of the Ecumenical Patriarch – these are Prot. George Roy and Fr. Alexander Kukhta. Their requests were considered by St. Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and were satisfied on the eve of the Annunciation, March 25, based on Rule 10 of the Seventh Ecumenical Council and rules 17 and 18 of the Council of Trullo.

The clerics have said that their priestly conscience does not allow them to continue serving in the Moscow Patriarchate, which justifies a war of conquest in Ukraine and declares the killing of Ukrainians a holy and godly act. The three priests openly disagreed with the violence in Belarus in 2020 and criticized the Lukashenko regime, which forced them to leave the country and seek asylum in Lithuania.

Prot. George Roy, forty-four years old, is an associate professor at the Minsk Theological Academy. Fr. Alexander Kukhta, thirty years old, is the most popular Orthodox video blogger in Belarus, the author of the channel “Batyushka otvetit” with tens of thousands of subscribers.

Both condemn election fraud and mass repression in 2020 and the war in Ukraine in 2022.

Prot. George Roy was close to Grodno Archbishop Artemiy (Kishchenko), who was forcibly removed from his post in 2021. Archbishop. Artemiy was the only bishop of the Belarusian Church who condemned the violence of the Lukashenko regime. In particular, on March 14, 2021, on Farewell Sunday, in his speech at the Intercession Cathedral in Grodno, he said: “It is not typical for the Church to get involved in politics and other issues. But the Church should not be indifferent to everything that is happening. The New Martyrs and the Righteous of our time have always said, “God betrays himself through silence.” To be a Christian is to be a crusader. To begin to fight against one’s own vices, against one’s personal sin, against social disorder, against ecclesiastical problems—this is a heavy cross to bear, sometimes at the sacrifice of oneself.”

The Belarusian Metropolitan Veniamin, exarch of the Russian Patriarch Kirill in Belarus, placed the two clerics under interdiction for passing to the Patriarchate of Constantinople without a letter of absolution.

On Easter this year, the first service for Orthodox Belarusians took place in Vilnius, performed by Belarusian priests of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.

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