UOC believers of Rynhach village appeal to Zelenskyy
The temple was built by UOC believers, the OCU has nothing to do with it, said the rector.
The community of the Ascension Church of the UOC in the village of Rynhach appealed to Volodymyr Zelenskyy in connection with the violation of the rights of believers by the head of the Chernivtsi Regional State Administration Ruslan Zaparaniuk.
The appeal was published on the Facebook page of the UOC church in Rynhach.
The reason for the appeal was the following fact: Ruslan Zaparaniuk amended the document certifying that the church in Rynhach is private property and transferred it to state ownership.
"This is lawlessness and a violation of Article 41 of the Constitution of Ukraine," said the rector of the UOC church, priest Serafim Dumitrovych.
According to the priest, OCU supporters have no right to this temple, which has been built since the early 2000s exclusively by UOC believers, and neither the regional nor the district administration allocated a single hryvnia for its construction.
Also, on 22 December 2022, the Chernivtsi Regional Military Administration issued an order obliging the UOC congregation in Rynhach to register a new version of the Statute of the religious organisation with affiliation to the OCU.
"The documents that were submitted to the head of the Chernivtsy Regional Military Administration were accepted without our consent. Our parishioners were not asked whether they wanted to transfer or not. We decide this issue every year at the parish meeting, and every year we confirm the fact that we are in the canonical Orthodox Church under the jurisdiction of Metropolitan Onuphry," said Fr Serafim.
"The people who collected the lists submitted an application and protocol to the Regional Military Administration have nothing to do with our parish and cannot prove that they were our parishioners. Because it is the people who work here, who live here, who live the life of the church and the life of our parish are our parishioners. And those people who have made the decision to move are lawless. No one asks our opinion, our desire as owners of the church, as members of the UOC religious community," added the rector of the Ascension Church.
The priest spoke about "Metropolitan" Daniil of Chernivtsi and Bukovyna (OCU) who signed the new version of the parish's statute.
"This was done without our consent. While the church has been under construction for decades and people have been collecting money, "Metropolitan" Daniil was the head of the Kyiv Patriarchate in Bukovyna. None of the members of the Kyiv Patriarchate has ever helped financially with the construction of the church, and none of the Kyiv Patriarchate has donated a single penny. What right does "Metropolitan" Daniil have to take away our temple, which we have been building? Therefore, dear President, we ask you to check the activities of the head of administration Ruslan Zaparaniuk, what does he do, what decisions does he make, what documents and on what grounds does he sign?" he added.
"The temple was built to be prayed in, to glorify the name of the Lord, and to receive the sacraments in the temple. Lawlessness against Him cannot be practised because the Lord, the Head of our Church, is not mocked and He will punish all lawless persons," the rector of the temple resumed.
Since 2019, OCU members have made repeated attempts to take away the church from the UOC community in Rynhach.