Filaret: There have been no seizures of UOC temples
The Moscow Patriarchate in Ukraine trumpets about the seizure of its temples throughout the world, but there haven’t been any seizures, said Filaret Denisenko.
“We reject the forced conversion of believers of the Moscow Patriarchate into the OCU,” said “His Holiness Patriarch of all Rus-Ukraine” Filaret Denisenko in an interview with the “Radio Liberty”.
“Novinsky (MP Vadim Novinsky – Ed.), Moscow and the Moscow Patriarchate in Ukraine trumpet to the whole world that they are being “seized”. There is no seizure. In some places, there were disputes not between the believers of the Kiev Patriarchate and the Moscow Patriarchate but among the faithful of the Moscow Patriarchate. They argued among themselves. Some wanted to go to the Kiev Patriarchate, while others did not want to,” said Denisenko.
According to him, that is why representatives of the KP asked the Verkhovna Rada "to adopt a law, a mechanism for how the religious community chooses its religious center".
“And the Verkhovna Rada adopted such a law,” continued Filaret. “If the majority of the parishioners, those who live in the parish, that is in this village, or go to a particular church in cities, are considered parishioners, then the temple belongs to the majority when choosing a center.”
He stated that the UOC KP rejects the forced conversion of UOC believers into the OCU, because "the UOC KP is not interested in people entering our Church through the use of force".
“We need them to enter voluntarily into the Ukrainian church, and not by force. Therefore, we reject the forced conversion of believers of the Moscow Patriarchate into the Kiev Patriarchate,” Filaret concluded.
As the UOJ reported, UOC religious communities are massively turning to European international organizations in connection with the systematic violation of the rights of believers in Ukraine. The head of the Representation of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church to European international organizations, the vicar of the Kiev Metropolis, Bishop Victor (Kotsaba) of Baryshevka said that the international community is responding to lawlessness against the UOC.