Believers of Ivano-Frankivsk urge President not to take temple from them

The Transfiguration Church community reading out an appeal to the President of Ukraine. Photo: YouTube

The Transfiguration Church community in Ivano-Frankivsk appealed to the President with a request to stop the illegal eviction of the temple from the adapted premises.

The church community of the Transfiguration Church of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Ivano-Frankivsk sent a video message to the President, people’s deputies and the Verkhovna Rada Commissioner for Human Rights Liudmila Denisova with a request to adhere to the rights and legitimate interests of the Ivano-Frankivsk Eparchy of the UOC regarding the use of the premises of the church at 6 Chernovol Str. The recorded address is posted on YouTube.

In their appeal, believers said that for 28 years they have been legally using the temple premises for worship. The legality of the community’s actions has been repeatedly confirmed in court.

“However, on August 22, 2018, the Ivano-Frankivsk City Council decided to terminate the lease,” the believers report. “This decision violates the agreements set forth in the lease of 2006 regarding the term of use of the church premises. Today, another trial is ongoing regarding the vacation of the rented premises, which was initiated by the executive committee of the Ivano-Frankivsk City Council.”

Despite the fact that the Commercial Court of the Ivano-Frankivsk Region did not satisfy the claims of the executive committee, the Western Economic Court of Appeal overturned the decision of the court of the first instance on November 15 this year, the community said. In response, the Ivano-Frankivsk Eparchy of the UOC filed a cassation appeal, which the court will consider on December 17 this year.

Believers recalled: “The Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms provides everyone with the right to a fair and public hearing within a reasonable time by an independent and impartial court established by law, which will resolve the dispute regarding their rights and obligations of a civil nature. In view of this, we ask all bodies of state power and local self-government to ensure the observance of the rights and legitimate interests of the Ivano-Frankivsk Eparchy of the UOC on the use of the church premises at 6 Chernovol Str., in the city of Ivano-Frankivsk until a final court decision, which is not subject to appeal.”

As reported, on October 15, 2019, the Lviv Economic Court of Appeal ordered the believers of the Transfiguration Church of the UOC in Ivano-Frankivsk to vacate the rented premises.

The human rights organization NGO “Public Advocacy” contacted the UN Human Rights Committee with information about the incident. The latter, having studied the situation, ordered Ukraine not to evict the UOC community from the building in Ivano-Frankivsk.

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