Disturbing footage has emerged online (below) of the moments when the Bishop of Ivano-Frankivsk and Kolomyia Nikita, Ukraine, was attacked and beaten in public.
The disturbing footage comes as Ukraine’s government have banned the traditional Orthodox Christian religion in Ukraine, the most popular religion in the state, claiming it’s connections with Russia are a danger.
Both Ukrainian state forces and extremist nationalist groups have been attacking churches, priests, monks and churchgoers with many videos online of church attacks, attacks on clergy, and nationalist groups making fun of elderly church-goers as they pray.
Ukraine’s history of religious persecution culminated in the early 1940s with current state hero Stepan Bandera arranging for the purging of hundreds of thousands of Jews in Ukraine, sending them on trains to concentration camps and imminent death.
Bandera is considered a hero by Ukraine’s regime, and pro-Bandera, extremist nationalist groups have been integrated into the country’s national guard, police and military.
Anti-Russian teachings were key to Nazism in the 1940s and remains so to this day in Ukraine, sentiment that in the opinion of several commentators has been a driving force in the localised events leading up to Russia’s military intervention in February 2022.
Everyday brings new evidence of the religious persecution happening in Ukraine, with International human rights organisations largely ignoring it.