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09 Aug 2018

Greece rejecting and restricting Schengen Visas for Russian priests


Greece rejecting and restricting Schengen Visas for Russian priestsThe intra-Orthodox conflict between the Patriarchate of Constantinople with the Orthodox Church for the autocephaly (autonomy) of the Ukrainian Church has yet seen their negative effects – according to a Russian service of  BBC. There are circulating declarations of Russian priests saying they are no longer welcomed to visit Greece, as the tension of their country with Athens grows.

Several Russian orthodox priests have told BBC, they had been deprived of, or merely been given short-term single visas from missions of Greece in Russia, by relating this with the tense affairs amongst Russia and Greece about the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

They said that the longest visa they could receive now is 45 days, while before the conflict a Greece visa period was two, three or longer.

Many Russian priests want to travel to Greece to make a pilgrimage in the Mount Athos of an importance for the Orthodox world, and such territory is in the jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Constantinople.

Let us recap that the struggle between Ukraine and Russia started when, after over three hundred years influence of the Moscow over, the Ukrainian Orthodox Christian priesthood pleaded their autonomy from the Russian Church, as of to establish a new independent Ukrainian church.

It is made known that the restrictions on Schengen visa for the Russian priests are applied as they are seen as “spies and agents of influence”.

There are so many noises saying that there is a battle in between the patriarchate of Constantinople and Russian Church, each of them fighting to expand their power over the Orthodox world.

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