Raiders use registry fraud to seize UOC temples

Church of the Nativity of the Most Holy Theotokos in Ivankov

An information attack, power pressure and registry fraud – such methods are used by church raiders in the district centre of Ivankov, Kiev region.

In order to take over the temple of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in the district centre of Ivankov, Kiev region, raiders are attempting to use dirty technologies. The main methods are an information attack, pressure and legal delays, lawyer Alyona Dobrorez told “Vesti”.

“Mogilnitsky & Partners” Law Firm checked the documents of the religious community of the Nativity of the Most Holy Theotokos of the Kiev Eparchy of the UOC, which is united around the Ivankov Church of the Most Holy Theotokos. According to lawyers, all land and property documents are in order and there are no grounds for the community to go under the jurisdiction of the OCU.

“Probably, the initiative group attempting to seize the temple will try to make changes to the registry. Surely, they will want to change the name of the rector in the documents,” says Alyona Dobrorez.

According to the lawyer, the initiative group of local residents who are not members of the religious community wants to reassign the church. Moreover, many of those who voted for the transfer to the OCU at an impromptu meeting of the territorial community consider themselves to be atheists.

“Among those who favour the reassignment of the community to the OCU are the editor of the local newspaper Pavel Smovzh, the former ATO fighter Viktor Krasiun, and a KP cleric, Vangelevsky by name. I think he wants to be a new prior,” says Alyona Dobrorez.

Krasiun personally spoke with the rector of the church, Archimandrite Longin, and strongly recommended him to go to the OCU. The priest said that in this way they put pressure on him.

Krasiun himself heads the Ivankov district public organization “Sheriff Security Bureau”. People call it "a security company". It is possible that the main actors in the event of a possible seizure of the temple will be representatives of this particular organization, conclude the lawyers.

We recall that earlier the rector of the religious community of the Nativity of the Most Holy Theotokos of the Kiev Eparchy of the UOC, Archimandrite Longin, has reported the preparation for the seizure of the temple. He has already appealed to law enforcement agencies, as well as to the leadership of the district and the region, in order to draw attention to the threat of forcible seizure. The priest calls to stop the incitement of hatred on religious grounds, which is criminalized in Ukraine.

According to the Archimandrite, the raiders began to prepare the ground for the takeover through the local newspaper “Tribune of Labour’. The author of the articles about the religious community Pavel Smovzh for propaganda purposes, in the opinion of the priest, spoke of the fact that the rector of the church and its parishioners act in the interests of Russia, and also called for subordinating the church to the newly created OCU.

Then, at a meeting of the territorial community held in the club, they voted for the temple to go under the jurisdiction of the OCU. On March 6, the head of the OCU Epiphany issued a decree on the acceptance of the community into the newly established church structure. At the same time, more than 140 active parishioners of the church oppose the reassignment of the temple. The newspaper “Tribune of Labour” reported that the first “worship” of the OCU in the temples was planned for March 26, 2019, which indicates the likely date for the seizure of the church.

The editorial board of the UOJ reminds: in case of violation of the rights of the episcopate, clergy, laity and institutions of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (obstruction of worship, seizure of temples, commission of provocations and pressure, threats, etc.) should immediately contact the Legal Department of the UOC by phone: 097- 537-55-96.

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this is the case of Phanar and the RCC, we have nothing to do with it
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