The believers of Ukraine's Orthodox Church held rallies against the visit of Bartholomew I, the Patriarch of Constantinople; his arrival is supposed to take place on August 22. The videos of mass meetings from various cities of Ukraine appeared on the Web.
According to the worshippers, currently Ukraine "suffers from the second schism over the last 30 years"; the believers are deprived of the right to pray and visit shrines restored by their ancestors. They put all responsibility for this on the Patriarch of Constantinople.
"It was his political decision to grant Tomos that provoked a wave of religious conflicts and raids on shrines. Thousands of people suffered; hundreds were injured", said preachers of Ukraine's Orthodox Church.
Rallies against Bartholomew's arrival took place in many shrines in Kyiv and other Ukrainian cities; people attended the events of Kyiv Pechersk Lavra, Pochaiv Lavra, Svyatohirsk Lavra, the Iona Monastery of Holy Trinity in Kyiv and other locations.
The people carried the posters reading: "Bartholomew! Hands off the holy Lavras", "Holy Prince Volodymyr, protect us from Bartholomew!", "Stop Bartholomew's raids!", and "Patriarch Bartholomew! We, the Orthodox people of Ukraine, don't expect you here!".
"Bartholomew is playing a big political game. He thinks he can seal the fate of believers and entire states. This experiment (Tomos, the authocephaly for the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, - 112 International) has been lasting for two years now. It is followed by total prosecution of Ukraine's Orthodox Church. But the violence, threats and raids on churches approved by Bartholomew did not make the worshippers of Ukraine's Orthodox Church turn their backs on their shrines, brothers and sisters. They protect the faith, warning everyone of Bartholomew's dark intentions", believers said.
Thousands of churchgoers of Ukraine's Orthodox Church urge the Patriarch "not to repeat mistakes of the past and not to turn Ukraine into the area of inter-confessional and religious conflicts".