Fr. Gregory Williams asks all concerned with the recent threatening harassment of Met. Agafangel, First Hierarch of the true ROCOR to please send letters to the State Department and your congressman requesting their intervention in demanding the government of Ukraine assure his safety. Time is of utmost importance.


Subject: Something We Can Do
Date: Mon, 29 Mar 2010 14:27:09 -0700

Blessings! Not much in my nature to engage in letter-writing campaigns, but it seems this is a situation which warrants it. I received a draft of a letter of appeal from John & Nadya Herbst (he was once ambassador to Ukraine & continues to serve in the State Department). I have edited it somewhat to my taste (and would encourage you to do likewise). Similar letters might also be sent to your congressman and senators (addresses easily uncovered at I rather suspect that postal mail, though slower and a little more expensive, may get better attention than e-mail.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton
2201 C St, NW
Washington DC 20520
Peace, in the name of the Lord!
We belong to the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad (also known as the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia), a church incorporated in New York and guided by Metropolitan Agafangel, who divides his time between New York and Odessa, Ukraine. We are writing you because we believe that Metropolitan Agafangel is in imminent danger in Ukraine. In recent weeks, his movements in Odessa have been shadowed by groups of young men. They wait for him at his residence. When the Metropolitan arrives, they follow him inside his building, get off on the second floor, and then one of them remains in the elevator and accompanies him to his apartment. Their manner is threatening.
Metropolitan Agafangel believes that this campaign of harassment and threats is being instigated by the Russian Orthodox Church-Moscow Patriarchate because of its displeasure with his opposition to the union three years ago between that church and a part of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia. Since that union, the Russian Orthodox Church- Moscow Patriarchate has waged a propaganda campaign against Metropolitan Agafangel and our church, but this recent turn of events is far more sinister. The recent election of Victor Yanukovych as President of Ukraine, who is perceived to be friendly to Russia, may have emboldened the Moscow Patriarchate to take more aggressive measures against Metropolitan Agafangel.
Whatever prompted the appearance of these thugs, we are asking for your help. We request that the State Department contact the government of Ukraine, insisting that it assure the safety of Metropolitan Agafangel. We are appealing to you because respect for human rights and the rule of law, including freedom of religion, is not what it should be in Ukraine. Please help us.
May the Lord bless and preserve you!
Timeliness is of course important!

In Christ Jesus,
Fr. Gregory Williams