Filaret asks Avakov to protect UOC KP from raiding of OCU
“Patriarch” Filaret Denisenko has appealed to Interior Minister Arsen Avakov to protect the property and rights of UOC KP believers.
Filaret Denisenko hopes that the Minister of Internal Affairs Arsen Avakov will help prevent the “forceful seizure of property and premises of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kiev Patriarchate and prevent the violation of the rights and freedoms” of believers of the UOC KP. The photo of the official appeal of the head of the UOC KP to the minister was published on Facebook by “Archpriest” Nikolai Lagodich, reports “Vesti”.
The document states that after the “Local Council”, which took place in Kiev on June 20, “a number of openly criminal actions were carried out by representatives of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine”.
In the appeal, Filaret reports that on the same day, when the “Council” was held, “representatives of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine by force took over the premises of the Holy Theodosius Monastery in Kiev, which has the status of Stavropegy and directly submits to His Holiness Patriarch of Kiev and all Rus-Ukraine”, and“ the leadership of the OCU evicted Archimandrite Andrei (Marutsak) for taking part in the Local Council”.
Also, the appeal says that on June 21 “they seized the premises of the Assumption Church in Pirogoscha in Kiev, which belongs to the UOC-Kiev Patriarchate”.
“I appeal to you, Arsen Borisovich as the Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine, with a request to protect the rights and freedoms of the believers of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kiev Patriarchate, to give a legal assessment of the unlawful actions of the representatives of the OCU, to guarantee non-interference in the internal life of the UOC KP, to make church raiding impossible. I hope for your help, which will make impossible the forceful seizure of the property and premises of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kiev Patriarchate and will not allow the violation of the rights and freedoms of our believers,” concluded Denisenko.
As the UOJ reported, on June 20, 2019, supporters of the OCU, together with the “Right Sector” seized the temple “Archpriest” Vitaly Druziuk in Rovno, who at that time was attending the “Local Council” of the UOC KP.
At the same time, "Patriarch" Filaret asserted that there is no church raiding in Ukraine: "Moscow and the Moscow Patriarchate in Ukraine are trumpeting 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 between the believers of the Moscow Patriarchate. They argued among themselves. Some wanted to go to the Kiev Patriarchate, while others did not.”
As reported, on June 19, 2019, Metropolitan Anthony of Borispol and Brovary, the UOC Chancellor, said that at present there are “more than 80 raider seizures of our churches, even more violations of the rights of believers and clergy, but we don’t receive proper protection of violated rights”. He also stressed that 222 UOC religious communities were illegally re-registered into the OCU.