Featured Image
 Twitter screenshot

Tell Congress to stop the Biden administration from funding wars in Ukraine and Israel

(LifeSiteNews) — A lawyer on Tucker Carlson’s show slammed the Ukrainian government for banning and persecuting the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. 

“If you take three steps back, a lot of what’s happening around the world seems like an attack on Christianity,” Carlson said in the opening monologue of Episode 34 of his show Tucker on X. “Thanks to the neo-con project, virtually the entire ancient Christian population of Iraq was eliminated. The U.S. government under several presidents has funded effectively the killing of Christians in Syria, and this continues throughout the Middle East and in Eastern Europe.” 

Canadian international lawyer Robert “Bob” Amsterdam, who represents the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC), said the Ukrainian government set up an “independent church” five years ago that is meant to replace the UOC because of its alleged ties to the Russian Intelligence Agency FSB. 

This independent church, “called the SIU, has been engaged in an absolutely vicious, unlimited campaign to steal property, harass, intimidate and jail clerics” from the UOC, according to the attorney. 

Amsterdam claims that there is “little substance” to the allegation of the UOC being tied to the FSB. “And in fact, there are other institutions in Ukraine, like the secret police, who have been far more infiltrated by Russia than this particular church,” he said.  

“The charges of one metropolitan, who has 400 children he’s adopted, relate to hurting the feelings of other Christians or other denominations,” Amsterdam stated. “I mean, these charges are on their face, political charges.”  

READ: UN and Orthodox prelates condemn Zelensky’s moves to evict monks, seize churches in Ukraine 

“It seems to me that it’s like prima facie unacceptable for a so-called Western liberal government to ban a religious denomination,” Carlson said in response. “I thought that was a traditional red line. If you’re doing that, by definition, you’re authoritarian.”  

Amsterdam said that as a “Jewish person,” he does “not understand how it is that Christian leaders are not up in arms, because I think their silence on Ukraine is dangerous for Christian denominations throughout the world.” 

“We see raids on churches, we see violence, we see balaclava-covered individuals beating clergy, kidnappings,” the international lawyer stated. “It is completely shocking.”  

He explained that the Ukrainian government has argued that the new, “independent” SIU church represents the same religion as the UOC.  

“But in fact, my clients, the church I represent, their prayers are in Church Slavonic; their liturgy is different,” he said. “And I can tell you as somebody who is not a youngster, for somebody to come into my church or synagogue and change the language and change the leadership, I would be horrified.”  

Amsterdam argued that information about the persecution of the UOC is being suppressed because “the Ukraine lobby is immensely powerful, and there is a humongous ban on truth right now in the United States with respect to what’s happening in Ukraine.” 

“I am absolutely pro-Ukraine in terms of the devastation they have suffered as a result of the war,” he said. “But why that is being channeled against my clients, the Holy Synod, men who are dedicated to God and their followers, who, let me be frank, are the most devout part of the Ukrainian populace. Why these innocents are being persecuted in this way is beyond my comprehension.” 

“Probably because they are the most devout,” Carlson replied. 

In May 2022, in a protest against Russia’s invasion, a council of the UOC formally declared its “full independence” from the Patriarchate of Moscow, while in those same months, hundreds of UOC priests signed an open letter calling for Moscow’s Patriarch Kirill to face a religious tribunal over his support for the invasion. 

Despite this, the UOC has been subject to military raids by the Security Service of Ukraine, also known as the SBU, leading the United Nations to sound the alarm, stating that the Ukrainian government’s action against the UOC unnecessarily infringes upon “the freedom to manifest one’s religion.” 

Tell Congress to stop the Biden administration from funding wars in Ukraine and Israel