Rovno RSA "transfers" UOC parish to OCU without informing community

UOC religious community of vlg. Zabolotye. Photo: UOC

The UOC religious community of the village of Zabolotye learned that the Rovno RSA re-registered it to the OCU from a publication on the Internet.

On August 1, 2019, the UOC Information and Education Department reported that the Rovno RSA illegally re-registered the religious community of the UOC Church of John the Theologian in the village of Zabolotye in the Vladimirets district of the Rovno region to the "OCU".

“The outraged rector Archpriest Andrei Bezdomov and the parishioners learned about this from a publication on the Internet. The Sarny Eparchy sees a disturbing message in the actions of officials – a return to the policy of escalating sectarian strife of the times of P. Poroshenko’s presidency,” write the authors of the article.

The order “on registration of the statute of the religious community in the new edition”, signed by the acting head of the administration I. Timoshenko, was published on July 16, 2019, on the RSA website.

“We see that again officials are returning to the methods of the times of the criminal power of P. Poroshenko, which not only worries us, but opens the door for raider seizure of the church,” the eparchy representatives believe.

The Sarny Eparchy emphasizes that the St. John the Theologian parish has all the necessary documents to the temple, has previously confirmed its allegiance to the Primate of the UOC and does not want to change jurisdiction. The relevant protocols with signatures of the religious community members were handed over to the Rovno RSA.

“Despite this, Rovno officials prefer not to notice Orthodox Ukrainians, and, as before, abusing their official position, violate the laws and constitutional rights of their voters and conduct ‘re-registration’ on the basis of unauthorized documents,” the parishioners emphasize.

“Village meetings are held; certain decisions that are presented as decisions of the religious community are made. The community itself does not participate in this, prays and continues its usual activities,” explains the eparchial press service. “But the authorities do not take this into account, they are not interested in whether such a community exists, whether it is faithful to the UOC, and the initiators of such illegal meetings are warmly received and get new documents with accurate registration data of our parish. Thus, the authorities give a direct impetus to further raider seizure of the temple."

The eparchy reports that at present the religious community has united even more, parishioners are on watch near the church and pray.

“The community defends its right to pray in its own temple by all legal means,” the Sarny Eparchy notes. “And if circumstances require, we will ask for help in safeguarding our property those who can do it right.”

We recall that in May the Main Investigative Department of the National Police of Ukraine opened a criminal case against the former chairman of the Rovno RSA Aleksei Muliarenko on the fact that the official issued illegal orders to transfer the UOC communities to the jurisdiction of the new church structure. The official wrote a letter of resignation.

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