Zelensky ‘can’t mobilize God’ – Russian church

The Ukrainian leader previously claimed that God was Kiev’s “ally” in the fight against Russia

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has no way to enlist God in his fight against Russia, the Russian Orthodox Church has said, rebuking a statement Zelensky made during his Easter Sunday speech.

In a video address, Zelensky described God as “an ally” of Ukraine who “has a chevron with the Ukrainian flag on his shoulder.”

“The Lord is not a resident of the Kiev region for Zelensky to mobilize him and put him in the Ukrainian army. His statements don’t merit any attention,” Vakhtang Kipshidze, the head of the Russian church’s public relations department, told news outlet news.ru.

Kipshidze further blasted the Ukrainian leader as “a non-believer” who “claims that he can decide for God whose ally he is.”

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Kiev has stepped up the crackdown on its largest Christian church, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC), accusing its clergy of being “agents of Moscow.” The UOC renounced its historical ties with Moscow after Russia launched its military operation in the neighboring state in February 2022. Nevertheless, the Ukrainian authorities have since launched criminal cases against more than 60 priests and seized a number of monasteries and other assets in favor of the state-backed Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU).

Last year, the Ukrainian government introduced a bill that would pave a way for an eventual ban of the UOC. The legislation, however, has since been stalled.

The head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill, has repeatedly condemned the campaign against the UOC, denouncing it as a violation of religious rights.

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