A unknown group is using Russian Orthodox churches in Ukraine to spread a call to murder Jews.
The group, which calls itself the “Orthodox public organization of Odessa,” distributed anti-Semitic pamphlets last week at some Russian Orthodox churches in Odessa calling for pogroms and the murder Jews and expressing regret at the collapse of the Russian Empire.
Berl Kapulkin, a spokesperson for Odessa’s Jewish community, told JTA that, according to preliminary information, the pamphlets were distributed by representatives of United Fatherland and the Union of Orthodox Citizens of Ukraine, both pro-Russian groups.
Rabbi Avraham Wolf, chief rabbi of Odessa and Southern Ukraine, called on Ukraine’s authorities to end the incitement in the Orthodox churches against Jews. Wolf said he hopes Ukrainian President Victor Yuschenko will keep his promise to combat interethnic hatred in the country.
At its session last week, the assembly of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Moscow Patriarchate declared activities of the Union of Orthodox Citizens of Ukraine as “anti-church.”