Vadim Novinsky: All illegally seized temples will be returned to UOC

MP Vadim Novinsky

MP Vadim Novinsky noted that the temples seized by the raider method would be returned to the UOC while the radicals would be brought to justice.

The outgoing power continues the practice of persecution of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, said the Parliamentarian, head of the Opposition Bloc faction Vadim Novinsky.

“The practice of raider seizures of the temples of the canonical Church continues, especially in dioceses located in Western Ukraine,” said the deputy. “According to forged documents, there is a massive re-registration of statutes, their parishes are re-registered in favor of the Orthodox Church established by President Poroshenko.”

He added that local authorities contribute to the seizure of temples with the complete inaction of the police, and the clergy and parishioners themselves are intimidated and persecuted.

“After the re-registration, with the help of radicals and gangster structures, seizures of churches are launched, with priests beaten up and the parishioners simply intimidated,” Novinsky stressed. “Families of priests who resist this lawlessness are harassed. All this is done with the full assistance of the governors of the western regions, first of all, of Rovno and Volyn regions, as well as local district administrations and rural heads. All appeals of believers to law enforcement agencies are ignored.”

The MP urged the representatives of local authorities to observe the Law of Ukraine, the interfaith peace: “I want to warn everyone, governors, heads of district administrations, heads of village councils that they do not violate the Law of Ukraine and the Constitution. And all those who will violate the laws of Ukraine will be held accountable in accordance with Ukrainian legislation. I guarantee you this! And the temples that were seized illegally will be returned to the rightful owner – the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. I want to warn everyone not to violate the law to please the outgoing president but to act in accordance with the law and try to preserve the interfaith peace.”

Western Ukraine telegraphs almost daily reports of seizures of the UOC temples by the OCU activists. At the press conference on church raiding on April 15 in Rovno Eparchy, 60 cases of forced liquidation of the church communities were announced.

“Despite the laws and codes of Ukraine, orders of the Rovno Regional State Administration’s Chairman Alexei Muliarenko eventuated forcible elimination the UOC communities in Rovno and Sarny Eparchies; “one-man-rule” decrees were issued on alternate worship in the UOC churches, and over 60 parishes of the newly formed OCU have been registered on the basis of personal data of the UOC religious communities for the last two weeks, i.e. more than 60 parishes of the UOC were forcibly liquidated, 14 parishes were seized,” said Bishop Pimen of Dubno.

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