Russian Church against defining holodomor as genocide, but urges to denounce Bolshevik actions that caused it

The Moscow Patriarchate believes actions of Bolsheviks that caused mass famine of the 1930s should be decisively assessed, but urges to renounce attempts to consider the tragedy genocide. "The theme of mass holodomor of the 1930s gives grounds for thinking both in Ukraine and in Russia. Kiev should understand that this tragedy didn't affect only Ukrainian people, and Moscow should decisively condemn Bolshevik actions that resulted in mass famine," Deputy Chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin told Interfax-Religion on Thursday.

It is evident for him, that these "actions were consciously aimed to wipe out the whole classes of nation." He also fully agrees with the position of the Kiev vicar Bishop Alexander of Pereyaslav-Khmelnitsky who said about the position of the Ukrainian Church to holodomor as genocide: "We tried to avoid this word, because genocide is a crime of one nation against another."

"Genocide is historically defined as an act committed to annihilate people on national or religious basis, and it wasn't the case with mass famine of the 1930s," the priest is convinced.

"There were social repressions. People of various nationalities suffered, peasants suffered as they were Christian and contrary to the myths of Soviet propaganda didn't destroy churches, but stood for them, rebelled against Bolsheviks and didn't want to put up with collectivization and other monstrous experiments on Russian, Ukrainian and other peoples," Fr. Vsevolod said.

According to him, "Bolsheviks indeed tried to annihilate peasants as a class Russia was based on and actions of that times so-called Bolshevik power should be decisively assessed.'

The interviewee of the agency said that "these crimes may and should be named unacceptable, unprecedented annihilation of our own people on social basis." According to him, it is also necessary to pay homage to the victims of mass famine on national level.

"There is no one to try for this crime - the Lord Himself judged the guilty if they didn't repent, but I believe that to call crime a crime, to call the involved structures criminal, would be very useful not only for assessing the past, but for creating decent future as well," the Russian Church official said.

Source: Interfax religion