MINSK, Belarus – The Ukrainian Border Guards Service says it has stripped a Russian Church-affiliated bishop of his Ukrainian citizenship and barred him from entering the country.
Border Guards spokesman Oleh Slobodyan said on Thursday that Bishop Gedeon was stopped as he tried to fly into the Ukrainian capital, Kiev. Slobodyan said the priest, who is father superior in a renowned monastery in Kiev, has been engaged in "anti-Ukrainian activities."
The incident is the latest development in the tug-of-war between the Russian Orthodox Church and a new Ukrainian Orthodox church that was granted independence by the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople earlier this year.
The Russian Orthodox Church says Bishop Gedeon recently had meetings in the U.S. Congress to talk about the church's problem in Ukraine.