Bukovina authorities want to deprive UOC believers of parental rights

Chairman of the Zastavna District State Administration Yuri Kitar. Photo: “Golos Krayu”

The Zastavnа district authorities demanded that parishioners do not take their children to the church. In case of disobedience, they can be deprived of parental rights.

On May 31, 2019, the head of the Zastavna District State Administration Yuri Kitar assembled a commission to consider depriving of parental rights those who go with children to the Holy Dormition Church of the UOC in the village of Vaslovovtsy, reports the Chernovtsy-Bukovina Eparchy of the UOC on its Facebook page.

The commission included 12 social workers, police officers, and doctors.

According to the members of the commission, teachers and educators who, together with their children, attend divine services in the temple of the canonical Church pose a danger to other people's children.

If these educators allegedly endangered their children during an attempt to seize the Holy Dormition Church, they can also harm the educational institution, according to the commission. For some reason, they were not interested in the actions of OCU raiders who actually endangered the lives of believers.

“If we are forced to choose faith or a job, then we are ready to write a letter of resignation,” the Orthodox teachers responded to such demands.

Also, members of the commission spoke about the need to apply to the social service for the protection of children with the requirement that its employees visit the parishioners' houses and hold special conversations. According to representatives of local authorities, believers either should not take children to the temple with them at all or are obliged to send them home immediately after the service so that they do not accidentally suffer and prevent the seizure of the church.

The commission called for the deprivation of parental rights of those parents who neglect the advice of social workers.

Such requirements outraged parents because in this way they will have to leave their own children unattended.

“When we are at the service in the church, what should the children do at home alone?” When we pray all day and night in the temple, taking turns, what should the children do at home alone?” they are perplexed.

According to the believers, they do not intend to stop going to church and take their own children to worship.

“If the head of the district is sincerely concerned about the safety of children, then it’s better to stop trying to seize the temple. Everyone knows that to grab the temple is Yuri Kitar’s personal initiative. There is no other way to teach children the faith of Christ than by our own parental example,” said the villagers of Vaslovovtsy.

We recall that on May 26, 2019, OCU activists took off the gates of the Holy Dormition Church of the UOC in the village of Vaslovovtsy and attempted to seize it.

The situation in Vaslovovtsy is not the only attempt by OCU supporters to intimidate the parishioners of the canonical Church with threats against their children. For example, in Ryngach, Petro Goroliak, a deputy of the Novoselitsa territorial community, threatens underage believers of the UOC with sending them to the ATO zone. The reason was the participation of residents of Ryngach in prayer standing in defence of the UOC, which was held outside the building of the Chernovtsy Regional State Administration on May 23, 2019.

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