UOC spokesman reports how many temples actually moved to new "Church"
The statistics of secular media about 200 churches that allegedly went to the OCU is not true, said Fr. Nikolai.
In fact, it’s not 200 churches that have moved to a new church structure, it’s 200 conflict spots, explained Protopriest Nikolai Danilevich, deputy head of the UOC DECR, at 6:20 pm live on “Dumskaya.TV”.
“Of these, 30 churches actually transferred to the OCU, 45 of them were seized, the rest are conflict situations, which have not ended in anything yet,” said the spokesman for the UOC.
He added that he was aware of 120 conflicts when there were attempts to force the believers and rector to support the new church structure.
Protopriest Nikolai reminded the journalists of the “Dumskaya.TV” channel and their viewers about the seizures of UOC churches in the village of Nichegovka, where the priest was kicked out of his temple, in the village of Gnezdychno, where the rector was beaten, and about events in the town of Berestechko, where “the locks were cut with a power saw” from the church doors.
"All cases are reported on the official website news.church.ua," said the DECR deputy head.
“Nobody has thrown out anyone,” said the guest invited to the on-air programme.
The UOC spokesman stressed in response that parishioners are video recording the developments in the villages of Central and Western Ukraine, and in fact, every seizure of the temple has already been reported and will be further reported to law enforcement agencies.
He denied the alleged mass transfer of the Kiev clergy to the OCU. 12 clerics were indeed banned from ministry for moving to a new church structure, but this is for the period from December 15, 2018, up to now, i.e. about transfers for almost two months, explained the DECR deputy head.
To the journalist, who on the air wilfully called the UOC “the Russian Church,” Father Nikolai reminded that the UOC is the Ukrainian Church, and its parishioners are Ukrainians.
The canonical Church received its independence in 1990, a year before the emergence of Ukraine, the cleric said.
“Only a religious community has the right to change its subordination,” the spokesperson for the canonical Church once again emphasized.
The head of the Legal Department of the Borispol eparchy of the UOC Protopriest Alexei Nosenko also said that the supporters of the OCU are trying to achieve what they want by substituting and confusing the concepts of "a religious community" and "a territorial community".
Rostislav Kravets, a member of the Kiev Bar Council, also warned about this. He explained that Law No. 4128 greatly simplifies the life of church raiders. “In accordance with this law, three people can declare themselves a religious community of a particular church. These three may be residents of the Crimea or the occupied territories of Donbass so that they cannot be found. But with representatives in Ukraine, who apply with the power of attorney to the registration service, where the registrar is waiting for them,” he explained.