UOC hierarch on seizure of temples: Even anti-church laws are not respected

Debate "The process of creating the Local Church: Zaporozhye aspect" on the "UA: Zaporozhye" TV channel between a UOC hierarch and a representative of the Kiev Patriarchate

OCU activists even violate the laws that the supporters of the new church structure in the Verkhovna Rada adopted to simplify the “transfers,” Met. Luke said.

In Ukraine, even the anti-church laws, which the OCU supporters adopted in the Verkhovna Rada, are not respected”, Metropolitan Luke (Kovalenko) of Zaporozhye and Melitopol noted during a live broadcast on the “UA: Zaporozhye” TV channel.

Metropolitan Luke highlighted that OCU activists put pressure on the clergy of the canonical Church and church benefactors and constantly try to replace one concept with another: "religious community" and "territorial community."

According to the hierarch of the canonical Church, not even Orthodox residents of a particular locality but representatives of other denominations take part in voting on the issue of the “transfer” from the UOC to a new church structure.

“Non-believers, Jews and Muslims, and generally unbaptized people, i.e. all in a row, signed,” the bishop reminded.

At the same time, the heads of districts or other representatives of state power often send their “agents” for signatures in favour of “transfers”, noted Metropolitan Luke.

The bishop of the canonical Church also stressed that the parishioners of the UOC will protect their churches from forcible seizure through courts.

At the same time, lawyers pay attention to the fact that the legislation of Ukraine allows UOC believers to protect the rights of their religious communities. For example, Oleg Denisov, head of the NGO “Public Advocacy”, noted that draft law No. 4128-d, adopted by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, regulates the process of the “transfer” of communities to the OCU. However, unlike the previously designed draft law No. 4128, this Law does not provide for the “right to self-identification”, when any person who came to the meeting can vote “for” the transfer of the community to another denomination. “Thus, either officials or representatives of public organizations can no longer compile voting lists, go into parishioners' houses and convene them for meetings, such actions can be done only by persons specified in the statutes of religious organizations and only in the established order established,” he stressed.

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