Today, November 15, at around 7:20 am, a group of criminals attempted to set fire to the St. Andrew’s Church in Kiev. Two strangers threw bottles with a combustible mixture – Molotov cocktails – into the church and attacked a priest using tear gas. After a failed attempt, unknown attackers fled the crime scene.
Ukrainian Orthodox Church spokesperson of the Kyiv Patriarchate, Yevstratiy Zorya, said the main objective of the attack was to intimidate the Ecumenical Patriarchate, as the Church of St. Andrew was recently taken over in Constantinople as the residence of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Ukraine .
It is worth noting that Ukraine intends to name St. Andrew’s Church as a separate UNESCO World Heritage Site. The church was built on a project by the architect Bartolomeo Rastrelli, is part of the National Historical Complex “Sofia Kyivska” and is state property. It is currently used by the autocephalous Ukrainian Orthodox Church. The prior of the church of Sant’Andrea Makario stressed his full support for the idea of the transfer of the church to the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
This particular incident indicates that the Ukrainian Orthodox community should be ready to actively defend the Ukrainian Church from enemy attacks and provocations. It should be remembered that shortly after the first news about the possible supply of an autocephaly to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church appeared, the representatives of the Russian Orthodox Church and the delegated politicians of Moscow in Ukraine commented on them with threats about “possible bloody consequences”.