Russian diplomat repeats accusations about American meddling in Orthodoxy


Union of Orthodox Journalists, 15 September 2021


Sergei Lavrov emphasized that behind the formation of the PTsU [Orthodox Church of Ukraine] stands the United States, which has set for itself a goal of undermining the position of world Orthodoxy and does not especially hide this.


The head of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Sergei Lavrov, declared that intense pressure is being exerted on a number of local Orthodox churches in order to force them to recognize the PTsU and he urged "leave the church in peace." He said this on 10 September 2021 at a forum in Sochi, responding to journalists' questions, the official website of the Russian MID [Ministry of Foreign Affairs] reports.


The minister emphasized that behind the formation of the PTsU stands the U.S.A., which has set for itself the goal of undermining the position of world Orthodoxy and "does not especially hide this." He said that there is information about attempts to create such an autocephalous uncanonical structure in Belarus, and he also mentioned the situation in Montenegro, where "President Djukanovic . . . is trying to create problems for his government and at the same time to show his American and other western colleagues how he is ready to fight against Orthodoxy."


The head of the Phanar "depends directly on the U.S.A.," Sergei Lavrov added, and is now "twisting arms" of some churches to get them to recognize the head of the PTsU, Epifany.


"Greek churches have made this compromise of their conscience. Both the Greek Orthodox Church and the Cypriot Orthodox Church now are actively cultivating the Antioch Orthodox Church (there are parishes of this church in Syria, Lebanon, and a number of African countries). There have also been attempts to persuade the patriarch of Alexandria, the patriarch of Jerusalem, and leaders of the churches of Bulgaria, Romania, and Albania.


"Work is being conducted very aggressively and very strong pressure is being exerted on these clergymen. Therefore we know what we are talking about. We publicly implore them: leave the church in peace," the head of the Russian foreign ministry stressed.


Sergei Lavrov has previously declared that Washington directly manipulates the patriarchate of Constantinople. (tr. by PDS, posted 15 September 2021)

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