A proposed new Ukrainian law which will ban the Ukrainian Orthodox Church for merely maintaining communion and ties to the Russian Orthodox Church based in Moscow is poised to go into effect. This after its churches and monasteries have already in some instances been subject to brutal raids by police or else ultra-nationalist thugs, which has been met with international silence despite the egregious violation of religions freedom. Bishops have been hauled before courts, priests have been thrown in jail, monks and nuns have been thrown onto the street.
Ukrainian parliament approved the law Thursday, and it awaits a second reading and then approval by President Zelensky, which he is expected to give, before going into force. Last night Tucker Carlson released a new interview focused on what's being deemed the Zelensky government's "war on Christianity".
Bob Amsterdam, an international lawyer from Amsterdam & Partners LLP who has been hired by the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC) to defend the country's largest religious body against this blatant persecution in European courts, spoke to Tucker Carlson in a segment published Thursday. The two decried the "attack on Christianity" and underscored Orthodoxy has had a home in Ukraine for at least a thousand years. Amsterdam agreed with Carlson's scathing assessment: "Of all of Biden’s crimes, backing the Ukrainian government as it throws priests in jail may be the most revealing."
Kiev has sought to smear the UOC as but a willing sphere of influence for the Kremlin, infiltrated and used by Russian intelligence. For example, Inna Sovsun, a Ukrainian lawmaker, was cited in AFP as calling the controversial bill a "historic decision" - explaining the rationale of the majority as follows: "In order to defeat the aggressor, we need to think asymmetrically and leave no room for Russia to harm us."
Throughout the war, Zelensky officials have alleged - without evidence - that UOC priests and bishops are facilitators for Russian intelligence and harbor pro-Putin views. The UOC has formally responded this week by stating, "Undoubtedly, the adoption of this draft law will indicate that human rights and freedoms, for which our state is also fighting, are losing their meaning."
But Amsterdam in the Tucker Carlson segment rejected Kiev's Orwellian label and smear of the UOC being somehow a 'Russian asset', instead saying "This has nothing but a Tamine Hall local political logic." Amsterdam went on to explain the law is fundamentally an unprecedented assault on religious freedom. According to a summary of his words on the failure of both Western church leaders and the media:
Even as the church finds itself at the center of a geopolitical storm, international Christian leaders maintain a concerning silence. The ban isn't just a local matter - it violates the Ukrainian Constitution, international laws, and perhaps even EU principles. Yet, the world seems to turn a blind eye, leading Amsterdam to question, "It is shameful that not only Christian but all leaders of all denominations have not spoken out against the Ukrainian government."
Watch the interview below:
Ep. 34 Of all of Biden’s crimes, backing the Ukrainian government as it throws priests in jail may be the most revealing. pic.twitter.com/ZCVV4uPzs9— Tucker Carlson (@TuckerCarlson) October 26, 2023
It's not the first time that Carlson has sounded off against the long-running efforts of Kiev to ban the Ukrainian Orthodox Church from society and legal standing. In July he had former vice president Mike Pence on his show, and Carlson blasted Pence's pro-Zelensky stance on the issue: "I sincerely wonder how a Christian leader could support the arrest of Christians for having different views," he said.
Pence rejected the portrayal, to which Carlson responded, "And yet your concern is that the Ukrainians, a country that most people can't find on a map, who've received tens of billions of US tax dollars, don't have enough tanks."