Ukraine police raid three Russia-linked Orthodox churches | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


Ukraine police raid three Russia-linked Orthodox churches

The Ukrainian police have raided three Orthodox churches aligned to Russia amid mounting political and religious tensions between the two countries.

Police and security services also searched the homes of priests who had declared their allegiance to the Russian branch of the Orthodox Church, regional police spokeswoman Alla Vashchenko told AFP on Monday.

The Ukrainian Orthodox Church was recently granted independence from Moscow in a controversial ruling that prompted cheers from Kiev but anger in Moscow.

The raids on churches in northern Ukraine were part of a probe into the possible violation of a law on equality of religious belief, the spokeswoman said without providing details of the investigation.

"Nobody has been arrested," Vashchenko added.

But Archbishop Kliment Vecherya, a spokesman for the Russian-aligned Ukrainian church, compared the raids to the crackdown on religious freedoms during the early Soviet period.

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