Epiphany tells FRG Ambassador that all transfers to OCU are voluntary
The head of the OCU, Epiphany Dumenko, told the German Ambassador that OCU “is not interested in attracting someone by force, because this contradicts Christian values”.
On September 18, 2019, Epiphany Dumenko met with the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Federal Republic of Germany to Ukraine, Anka Feldguzen, the OCU website reports. The meeting was also attended by Eustratiy Zoria.
During the meeting, Dumenko noted that in his opinion, “Russia allocates large funds to counteract us (OCU –Ed.)”. But, according to him, "the main factor of victory is the truth, which is on our side".
It is reported that Anka Feldguzen was interested in the issue of the process of “transitions” of the UOC communities to the OCU. Commenting on this topic, Dumenko said that "we are not interested in attracting someone by force." According to him, violence "is contrary to both Christian values and common sense".
Epiphany is sure that “one will not join anyone under duress; such a process will not give any result.”
In addition, he said that “for the time being about six hundred communities have joined us, so it is clear that it is impossible to do this by force. The community just cannot “take away” the temple from itself”.
At the same time, the conflicts arising during the seizures of Orthodox temples were described by Dumenko as minor: “Those minor conflicts, which are sometimes reported by certain media, are obviously the result of deliberate provocation aimed at creating an appropriate picture of “persecution”, which our opponents are very interested in” .
During the meeting, they also discussed the issue of transferring to the OCU the premises in Luteranskaya Street, which previously housed the Lutheran school of Kiev.
Earlier, Epiphany stated that when changing jurisdiction in favor of the OCU, a community sometimes cuts off locks on its church.
Recall, during the seizure of the temple in the village of Chetvertnia, Volyn Region, the school teacher urged the OCU activists to undress the priest’s wife and “give her to the men”; women were beaten, insulted and pulled by their hair. It was also reported that members of the OCU beat the parishioner and the rector of the UOC temple in the village of Priputni, Chernigov region. In this case, a “peaceful transition” ended up with the hospitalization of the UOC parishioner.