Disinfo: Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church is a Russophobic and anti-Orthodox tool

Summary

The Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (UGCC) is still a tool for occupation and assimilation in the hands of the Western world; in particular, Rome. […] with its help, Russophobic and anti-Orthodox sentiments are constantly stimulated in [Ukrainian] society.

Through such geopolitical hybrids as the UGCC, Ukraine continues to stimulate the population in the right way in order to occupy territories with claims to “its” Crimea and Donbas.

Disproof

This is a conspiracy theory about religion in Ukraine, alleging that the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church is promoting anti-Russian sentiments in Ukraine and is a tool of Western occupation of "canonical" territories of the Russian Orthodox church.

There is no evidence that the UGCC is pursuing a Russophobic or anti-Orthodox policy. According to the law of Ukraine "On Freedom of Conscience and Religious Organisations", it is one of the religious organisations in Ukraine having equal rights with Orthodox and other churches. It can carry out activities within all territory of Ukraine, including Crimea and Donbas, which are internationally recognised as parts of Ukraine.

The Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church was established in Ukraine in 1596. Its parishes were located in all major cities from Kyiv to Lviv. The Metropolitan was located in Kyiv until 1806 when, under the pressure from the Russian empire, it was forced to move to Lviv. In 2005, the Metropolitan relocated back to Kyiv. It is based on the principles of peace, trust, mutual understanding, solidarity, and respect.

See earlier disinformation narratives alleging that the US State Department is trying to eradicate the Orthodox church, that the US government is trying to eradicate Christianity, and that the Orthodox world splits over the "Ukrainian question".

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 214
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 05/10/2020
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: Ukraine
  • Keywords: Religion, Ukraine, Donetsk, Eastern Ukraine, War in Ukraine, Donbas

Disclaimer

Cases in the EUvsDisinfo database focus on messages in the international information space that are identified as providing a partial, distorted, or false depiction of reality and spread key pro-Kremlin messages. This does not necessarily imply, however, that a given outlet is linked to the Kremlin or editorially pro-Kremlin, or that it has intentionally sought to disinform. EUvsDisinfo publications do not represent an official EU position, as the information and opinions expressed are based on media reporting and analysis of the East Stratcom Task Force.

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Disproof

The claim refers to the conference M100 Sanssouci Colloquium, organized each year, from 2005, in Potsdam, Germany, by Potsdam Media International E.V and many partners. The event brings together Europe's top editors, commentators and media owners alongside key public figures to assess the role and impact of the media in international affairs and to promote democracy and freedom of expression and speech, as it is mentioned on the official web site.

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Disproof

Conspiracy theory with no proof presented to support any of the claims, mixing several recurrent pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about the recent escalation of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, the war in Ukraine, and Russia being encircled by an aggressive West.

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