>> Suspected of spreading religious hatred, this Orthodox Christian Cathedral in Northwestern Ukraine was raided earlier this month, by the country's security service. It's one of several churches with ties to Moscow to be raided in the run up to accounts in Kiev on Saturday, where Ukrainian priests will establish a new national church.
Breaking hundreds of years relations with the Russian clergy. Reuters Matias Williams, is in Kiev.>> Ukrain struggle for church independence is of course extremely politicized. Especially at the time like this, when relations between Ukraine and Russia are becoming completely poisonous. Ukraine is living under Martial Law in part of the country, because it fears an invasion from Russia.
For Ukraine, it sees the Russian church and the Moscow patriarch in Ukraine as a stooge, basically for the Kremlin. That the Kremlin uses it in order to peddle influence, and also help separatist fighters in the Donbass region.>> Russia has accused Ukraine of politicizing religion. This senior priest at the cathedral of the nativity, says he will refuse to recognize the new church's legitimacy, adding that they serve the devil, while he serves God.
> Ukraine's part of Western leaders, say the split is essential to keep Ukraine safe from what they see as Russian meddling, and Moscow's neo-colonial ambitions.
>> We pray for you and we stand with you.>> Some fear this push for an independent church, could bring street clashes between supporters of various Orthodox factions, and lead to some Russian back churches being forceably seized by Ukrainian authorities. But Ukraine has dismissed this as scam mongering.