Press Release – March 21, 2022
For Immediate Release
OPAC CALLS FOR SANCTIONS ON RUSSIAN ORTHODOX LEADERSHIP
Washington, DC – The Orthodox Public Affairs Committee (OPAC) believes that the Russian People and the Russian Orthodox Church do not bear responsibility for the barbaric attacks on Ukraine. It lies squarely on their leadership. Patriarch Kirill, his possible successor, Metropolitan Tikhon of Pskov, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokomansk, who heads the Public Relations wing of the Moscow Patriarchate; the Department of External Church Relations (DECR), and the Rev. Nikolai Balashov, a priest of the DECR and long-time accomplice to Kirill, are all complicit in not only supporting the invasion of Ukraine, but also in perpetuating the lies of the government against their own people.
Rather than standing up to Putin and his cronies, they are as guilty as the rest. They have abandoned the Orthodox People of Ukraine who make up 1/3 of their flock, and are as blameworthy for the deaths of innocent children and civilians as the soldiers acting on orders from the Kremlin. The idea that this invasion was for the benefit of the Ukrainian People would be laughable, if it were not matched by such horrific war crimes.
As OPAC, we cannot stand by and listen to the lies coming out of these so called “shepherds” of the Church of Russia, who are acting more like wolves in sheep’s clothing. Like all the other oligarchs and government officials in Russia, these Clerics must be sanctioned now and be held accountable for their betrayal of the Orthodox Faith, and their complicity in this unjust and bloodcurdling war.