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A memo to Republicans in Congress: Don't be duped by falsehoods – let's stand with Ukraine

Claims that the Ukrainian government regularly oppresses Christianity by imposing anti-Orthodox laws and restrictions are blatant manipulative misinformation circulating in American politics. In recent months, some Republican representatives in Congress have inclined to believe Russian propaganda over common sense. Having direct communication with numerous members of Congress, I'm well aware of this trend.

Photo: Max Trebukhov

It's evident to those truly versed in Ukraine's reality that such statements are detached from the truth. Let me shed light on what Republicans and all American politicians opposing further support for Kyiv through manipulative church narratives and lies should understand.

The developments in Ukraine, the decisions across governmental branches, aren't anti-Christianity or anti-Orthodox Church directives; they are a deliberate policy aimed at thwarting Russian special service activities. Over the years, Russian security agencies leveraged the UOC-MP to establish an expansive spy network advocating for the "Russian world" and its principles.

Simultaneously, they amassed immense wealth, emulating the controversial Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, who became one of the world's wealthiest individuals thanks to his rank. We're talking about billions, opulent real estate, and yachts worldwide, unattainable without state machinery and specialized services.

Furthermore, it's crucial to note that Russia deliberately violates numerous Christian doctrines, both domestically – by oppressing any and all dissenters - and abroad. Their actions include shelling civilian infrastructure, killing innocent civilians, and abducting children. As per Ukraine's president's recent announcement, the number stands at about 20,000 abducted children - comparable to a small American town's population!

Regarding church matters, Russian forces have ravaged nearly 500 religious sites in Ukraine since the war's onset, as per the Institute for Religious Freedom's official records. These numbers escalate daily. Who's truly eroding Christianity here?

Ukraine, a fairly conservative nation respecting traditions and diverse religious beliefs, accommodates Orthodox, Protestants, Jews, and Muslims living harmoniously in its cities. Having visited Kyiv and other Ukrainian cities, I've made comparisons. The conservative outlook of Ukrainians resonates with long-held Republican Party ideals: safeguarding societal interests, family values, and state traditions.

For me, Ukraine's recent trajectory echoes events in Israel. Both democratic countries fiercely defend their culture, citizens, and principles against undemocratic forces. In this challenging struggle, they undoubtedly need our support.

In these trying times, Congress and both parties must unite, setting aside differences to continue aiding Ukraine in its battle against Russia. The criminal policies of the Kremlin regime pose the most significant threat to Christianity today.

Uriel EpshteinUriel Epshtein, CEO, Renew Democracy Initiative
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