In Pokhovka authorities help schismatics seize UOC church

The Annunciation Church in the village of Pokhovka

OCU supporters held the first “divine service” in the Annunciation Church of the UOC in the village of Pokhovka of the Bogorodchany district, Ivano-Frankovsk region.

Pokhovka authorities helped OCU adherents seize the Annunciation Church of the UOC. Invaders entered the premises at night, breaking locks, reports the website of the Ivano-Frankovsk eparchy.

On January 13, 2019, a village assembly was held, at which the village head Nikolay Ostapchuk and the chairman of the meeting Miroslav Anniuk announced the event as a meeting of the UOC church community and proposed to consider the issue of the transfer to the OCU. The head of the religious community, the rector of the Annunciation Church Protopriest Vladimir Shuvar was not told anything.

The UOC Information and Education Department publishes a video of how the “UOC church community meeting” took place in Pokhovka.

The priest and the UOC believers tried to explain that the proceedings were a violation of the church statute. According to the law, a meeting of the religious community is convened and held by the chairman of the parish council. But the parishioners were not heard, so they had to leave the meeting. The rest, the majority of whom had no relation to the Annunciation religious community of the UOC, voted for its transfer to the OCU.

On January 14, supporters of the transfer to the OCU tried to get into the temple but faced the resistance of the parishioners. As a result, the police sealed the premises. However, already on the night of January 17, the schismatics, with the support of the local authorities, broke down the doors, entered the church and changed the locks.

On January 18, OSU representatives already performed their first “divine service” in the Annunciation Church.

The media reported on this event traditionally: they say, the religious community voluntarily left the bosom of the UOC.

As the UOJ reported, on January 20, in the Volyn villages of Skobelka, Berestechko, Kutrov, Nichegovka and Bronitsa, OSU activists attempted to seize the temples of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. Orthodox believers of the Chernigov region turned to the head of the Borzna District State Administration Vera Proskura with a request to return the church in the village of Olenovka, grabbed by OCU supporters, with the participation of activists from the radical group S14.

President Petro Poroshenko promised that he would sign a law that would provide for “exceptionally peaceful and kind” transfers of UOC communities to the OCU.

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