UOC clergy and believers hold prayer standing under Vinnitsa RSA

Participants in prayer standing. Photo: Vinnitsa Eparchy website

If local authorities do not stop infringing upon the rights of UOC faithful, the believers of the region will have to demand the resignation of the head of the RSA.

On June 10, 2019, in front of the building of the Vinnitsa Regional State Administration, the clergy and laity of the UOC held a prayer standing in support of the rights of believers of the canonical Church and handed an official appeal to the governor of the region Valery Koroviy, reports the website of the Vinnitsa Eparchy.

In the appeal, Orthodox residents of the region reminded Koroviy of the systematic violation of their rights by employees of local government bodies.

“By interfering in the religious sphere, officials provide privileges to the OCU and, in turn, encourage the local population to restrict the activities of religious communities of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, which directly contradicts the provisions of Article 24 of the Basic Law of Ukraine, which envisages that “there shall be no privileges or restrictions based on race, colour of skin, political, religious and other beliefs, sex, ethnic and social origin, property status, place of residence, linguistic or other characteristics," stressed the authors of the appeal.

The unhealthy situation in interfaith relations is the result of the activities of the head of the Office for Nationalities and Religions of the Vinnitsa RSA Igor Saletsky, reads the appeal.

Believers reminded that at least 20 communities of the UOC had been forcibly transferred to the jurisdiction of the OCU.

“A meeting between the chairman of the Vinnitsa RSA and Archbishop Varsonofiy of Vinnitsa and Bar to discuss and resolve the problematic situation that has developed in the religious life of Vinnitsa region is scheduled for tomorrow. We hope that at the meeting constructive agreements will be reached on stopping lawlessness against the Ukrainian Orthodox Church,” the parishioners of the canonical Church appealed to Koroviy.

The participants warned that if the parties fail to reach an agreement, all churches of the eparchy will have to start collecting signatures under a statement to the President of Ukraine demanding the resignation of the chairman of the Vinnitsa Regional State Administration.

On June 7, 2019, in Vinnitsa, representatives of the newly created religious organization attempted to reregister the religious community of the Savior Transfiguration Church in the village of Luka-Meleshkovskaya, Vinnitsa region, to the OCU. For this purpose, activists of the new church structure headed by one of the local deputies came to the territorial branch of the “Prosory Office” administrative services centre. Archbishop Varsonofiy (Stoliar) of Vinnitsa and Bar, the clergy and laity of the canonical Church tried to protect the church from illegal re-registration. The law enforcement officials only observed the situation.

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