BookInfo and "Chas" report UOC MP priest is asking the police to open a case against them
The abbot of the Bancheny Monastery, Metropolitan Lonhyn (Mykhailo Zhar) of the UOC MP has filed a statement with the Chernivtsi police, asking them to open a case against the journalists of the local media outlets "BookInfo" and "Chas".
As noted by both editors, they have written incriminating materials about the abbot, who, according to the media, is engaged in anti-Ukrainian activities. The media also recalled that in May, the police had notified Zhar of suspicion for inciting inter-religious enmity.
"The Chernivtsi police have received a statement from the abbot of the Bancheny Monastery (UOC MP), Metropolitan Lonhyn (Mykhailo Zhar), with a demand to open a case against several Bukovyna journalists working for our edition and for the newspaper "Chas" for truthfully reporting on incriminating facts regarding the activities of Lonhyn and the UOC MP, which testify to their anti-state attitude amidst the Russo-Ukrainian war. The pro-Moscow priests articulate their grievances in a roundabout way, claiming that the journalists incite 'inter-denominational religious enmity.' Police investigators are already trying to obtain statements from the heads of the specified mass media," BookInfo writes.
At the same time, according to "Chas", "in his sermons, Zhar has repeatedly spoken out against our state, the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the OCU... destabilizing internal situation in the oblast. He has been notified of suspicion under Article 161 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine. The investigation is ongoing."
"Chas" writes that the abbot asks to open a case against the reporters under Part 1 of Article 161 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine ("Violation of citizens's equality based on their race, nationality, regional affiliation, religion, disability or other grounds").
The editors consider this an act of pressure on freedom of speech and obstruction to journalistic work.
We will remind you that in May the SBU and the National Police uncovered the abbot of the Holy Ascension Monastery of the Chernivtsi-Bukovyna UOC MP Diocese who incited inter-religious enmity. According the SBU, he smeared the Orthodox Church of Ukraine in his sermons, calling it "the church of the antichrist" and "the satanic church," thereby offending the faithful and destabilizing the internal situation in the oblast.
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