Officials failed to convince UOC community of Riasniki to give up church to KP

The commission of Goshcha district officials that made every effort to induce the UOC community of Riasniki village to alternate service with the UOC-KP had to leave the village with nothing, reports the site of the eparchy.

“The talk appeared emotionally-charged: Orthodox parishioners of Riasniki, in the number of 70, were already sick and tired of proving to officials of all levels of their legitimate right to the church, confirmed not once by court decisions. Ten representatives of the Kiev Patriarchate tried again to "sing an old song" that they are not allowed into the church, request for alternate service and blame "Moscow priests", but failed to present any new arguments,” said the parishioners of the UOC.

“Apparently, the officials did not expect to see a large and close-knit community of the UOC, ready to protect the issues of faith and truth at all levels, while their opponents were about a dozen – that is, in fact, the community of the KP in Riasniki. According to the villagers, attending the meeting, they couldn’t reach consensus: the commission members listened to both sides to make sure that the church is well maintained and in good condition and the villagers are committed and to further actions and left the village,” reports the site of the eparchy.

“Such a situation, when the village council arbitrarily decides on alternate service, also happened in Ptichia village. But on March 14, 2016, the court reversed the decision. Such decisions of local governments are held illegal, since the deputies of village councils do not have the expertise. However, local officials, contrary to current legislation, are still trying to take illegal decisions, lobbying thus their own interests,” comments on the precedent a human rights activist of the Rivne eparchy.

Before July 1, by the decision of the Rivne Regional Administrative Court of 6 April 2016, the Rivne Regional State Administration was obliged to provide the UOC-KP with a response to the letter on the alternate service issue, which became the main reason for their appeal to the court. What answer will be given by the members of the commission to the governor of Rivne region is still unknown.

Recall that the court hearings on Riasniki church issue has been lasting since October 2015, when the newly formed religious community of the Kiev Patriarchate filed a claim in the Rivne Regional Administrative Court with a request to oblige the Rivne Regional State Administration to assign the church in Riasniki village for alternate use by the UOC and the UOC-KP. The reason for filing a complaint with a court was that the Rivne Regional State Administration did not consider their letter with requests for alternate use. On November 24, 2015, the judge issued an order to cease production because the case was under the jurisdiction of commercial courts. Disagreeing with this, representatives of the Kiev Patriarchate filed an appeal. On January 5, 2016, the Zhitomir Administrative Court of Appeal issued a decision by which the case was sent for a new trial in the court of Rivne. On April 6, 2016, the Rivne Regional Administrative Court refused to satisfy the claim of the Kiev Patriarchate Church on the alternate use of the church in Riasniki. 

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