There have been a number of acts of vandalism and attacks against Russian Orthodox churches in Canada, Australia, Europe, and throughout the world since the start of the fratricidal war in Ukraine in late February.
Among the most recent was the vandalism of the Church of All Saints in Strasbourg, France, and a number of attacks in South America.
“On the morning of April 5, two giant Z’s were painted in red on two bulletin boards of the Russian Orthodox Church of All Saints in Strasbourg,” the parish rector Fr. Philip Ryabykh reports.
Fr. Philip also serves as the Moscow Patriarchate’s representative to the European Council.
“Well, we suffer together with all the suffering. We carry our cross of reproach in the days of Great Lent,” he writes.
“Probably, they want to stigmatize us all, as they once did Jews in the Third Reich. They painted the Star of David on the houses there, and we have a red letter Z to turn us into a target for violence. Is there a collective responsibility based on national or religious grounds in a civilized society?” he continues, noting that the parish opposes the war, and has been praying for peace and has housed and sheltered 11 Ukrainian refugees.
“Unfortunately, it is in some Ukrainian groups created on social networks in Strasbourg that hatred of our Russian Church of All Saints is propagandized. We have at our disposal all the evidence and screenshots of such publications. At the same time, our community has never allowed itself to say something insulting to the Ukrainian language or culture,” Fr. Philip states.
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