Believers of Polessye Eparchy hold prayer standing under Dubrovitsa DSA
The clergy and believers of Polessye gathered for prayer standing in front of the Dubrovitsa DSA in defence of their rights.
On March 12, 2019, the clergymen and laity of the Dubrovitsa Deanery of the Polessye-Sarny Eparchy of the UOC gathered for prayer standing under the building of the Dubrovitsa DSA, Rovno region, reports the Information and Education Department of the UOC.
28 priests and more than 300 laity protested against the violation of their constitutional rights and freedoms, including the freedom of religion. Believers of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church thus protested against unprecedented pressure to forcefully “transfer” their parishes to the newly established OCU.
The eparchy officials declare: despite the pressure, the Orthodox of the Polessye district remain loyal to their Church and its Primate, therefore, the authorities have no choice but to illegally deprive them of their place to pray. Due to the personal efforts of the head of the local district state administration Nikolai Petrushka, three churches in the Dubrovitsa Deanery were closed down.
“The believers were practically kicked out onto the street,” commented the spokesperson for the Polessye Eparchy. “They were deprived of places for church prayer on these Great Lent days important for all Orthodox Christians.”
As reported by the UOJ, the UN Report “Public Space and Fundamental Freedoms Ahead of the Presidential, Parliamentary and Local Elections in Ukraine” states that the freedom of religion and belief is violated in Ukraine, the Tomos has worsened conflicts between the Orthodox, and the UOC has become a target for discrimination. The United Nations states that the political situation in the country contributes to the exacerbation of inter-faith confrontation and is accompanied by a violation of basic human rights, including the freedom of religion.