Alternate services with UOC KP to be imposed on UOC community in Ptichya
In the village of Ptichya of the Dubno district, Rivne region, local authorities, together with the religious community of the Kiev Patriarchate, have decided to open the church for alternate services.
As a UOJ correspondent reports, the opinion of the believers of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church is not taken into account.
On May 16, a meeting of the supporters of the Kiev Patriarchate and the religious community of the UOC took place in the premises of the village council in Ptichya. The issue of the opening of the Holy Assumption Church was on the agenda. The OSCE mission, the heads of the Dubno regional administration and the village council were involved in the talks.
According to eyewitnesses, the course of the conversation was planned in advance: the representatives of the district authorities pursued an offensive campaign against the believers of the UOC, demanding that they accept the proposal of alternate services. Yuri Parfeniuk, the chairman of the Dubno Regional State Administration, said that the Verkhovna Rada is already considering a bill that will soon be adopted, and then the title rights of the religious community of the UOC to the church in Ptichya will be cancelled, and the temple will be transferred to the village council, which will use the church as it sees fit.
"The chairman of the village council is on the side of the Kiev Patriarchate, as well as the rest of the officials from our district leadership – this has been known for a long time," said Protopriest Gregory Stadnik, rector of the Holy Assumption Church in the village of Ptichya, commenting on the meeting. "But they should not dishearten us; for a long period of interfaith conflict, we have well known our opponents. But not for that the believers of the UOC have prayed at the walls of their temple for four years, in the frost and in the heat, now to accept the conditions that are imposed on us."
The meeting lasted for more than four hours. It was decided to:
- Jointly construct a temple by Ptichya residents (proposal from the UOC);
- Open the church building for alternate services, taking into account the conclusions and recommendations of the Expert Council on Freedom of Conscience and Religious Organizations of the Ministry of Culture of Ukraine;
- For communities to appeal to the court by 25 May to withdraw their claims.
- 01/06/2018 for communities to appeal to the court to lift the arrest of the temple.
- To set the order of the services weekly from 8.00 to 14.00. For big holidays and occasional offices – by agreement.
Representatives of the religious community of the UOC, together with the rector, did not sign the protocol of the meeting. Then the village head, apparently predicting the course of events, called on three officials of the village council, and the latter with their signatures approved the legitimacy of the decisions of this protocol.
"At the end of the meeting, our opponents gave us a clear understanding that the order of the services will be kept without our consent: they are ready to use their time, no matter whether we accept these conditions or not," resumed Protopriest Gregory Stadnik.
Since2015, the faithful of the UOC have not had the opportunity to pray in their church in Ptichya.