With the majority of the public’s focus on the conflict in the Middle East, we have to remember that war continues to rage on between Ukraine and Russia. And in response to that war, the Ukrainian government has done whatever it takes to suppress all things Russian.
This includes shutting down television stations, disbanding political parties and banning art, music and literature deemed pro-Russian or of Russian origin. One thing they are targeting is the Ukrainian Orthodox Church — an ancient Christian sect that has been around for more than 1,000 years.
They are closing places of worship and jailing priests in what appears to be a politically motivated attack.
On Thursday, October 26, Robert Amsterdam joined Tucker Carlson on his show X to discuss the situation regarding the suppression of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church by their own government. Amsterdam is an attorney with international law firm Amsterdam & Partners who works on cases against Russia around the world; he currently represents this church in its attempts to fight back against this repression.
Carlson noted that Americans should be concerned about this since U.S taxpayers are effectively funding Ukraine’s government and military forces through our foreign aid programs.
Amsterdam described what he had seen when researching this issue: “The Ukrainian government … set up what is called an autocephalous church … And decided that that church should replace the spiritual home of Ukrainians… the OCU has been engaged in an absolutely vicious, unlimited campaign to steal property, harass, intimidate, and jail clerics…. based on the testimonies I’ve reviewed there seems to be little substance to this allegation [of ties between OCU and Russia]…in fact there are other institutions in Ukraine, like the secret police, who have been far more infiltrated by Russia than this particular church.”
He then went on to explain why politicians would take such extreme measures: “The politicians in Ukraine, including perhaps the president, want to take the populist vote of those behind this new church and therefore feel it is in their political interest to destroy this ancient branch of Christianity.” It appears as though politics is driving religious persecution here rather than any real threat from Russia or from within OCU itself.