Religious scholar: "Transfers" of communities from UOC to OCU are a bubble
The religious scholar concluded that "only a few dozen communities left the UOC completely, and even then, often after serious blackmail.
Religious scholar Nikolay Mitrokhin said on his Facebook page that the number of religious communities claimed by the OCU does not correspond to reality and compared the so-called "transfers" with the blowing of soap bubbles.
"When the OCU was created it was repeatedly announced that up to half of the parishes of the UOC would move to it "immediately", in reality, as soon as Poroshenko lost the first phase of elections and the transfers (most often under pressure from local administrations, but sometimes by free choice) and defections (this is when a priest decided to go to the OCU and the community did not support him, as happened to some well-known OCU supporters, including in Kyiv) decreased dramatically – four times in one month. And after Zelenskyy's victory, they stopped altogether," said Mitrokhin.
The religious scholar compared the number of parishes in the OCU and the UOC in 2019 and 2020 and concluded that "only a few dozen communities left the UOC completely, and that is often after serious blackmail – such as in the case of communities at military units, where they simply promised to take away churches. Or communities of private churches, where the owner insisted on the transfer (possibly after a call from the Presidential Administration or the regional administration).
"However, in the vast majority of cases – i.e. 90% – the community either split or the local authorities falsified the establishment of the OCU community by submitting documents on its behalf for the local temple, which remained under the control of the old congregation," he added.
"The UOC had 10,419 priests for 2019, became 10,532 – that is an increase of 113 – despite the atmosphere of intimidation and intense state pressure in the first half of 2019... The number of priests in a particular religious institution is the clearest indicator of its degree of influence over the faithful. Simply because they maintain it. That is, my calculations of church attendance, which suggest that the number of real believers who attend OCU temples is a third of the number of UOC believers, are also confirmed by the statistics of the clergy. But the OCU continues to blow the bubble of registration of non-existent communities and has already announced that it is "bigger" than the UOC, which cannot register anything, because a) it is in the courts on its legal status, b) some of the communities in the occupied territory, formally became subordinate to Moscow, and therefore they are legally annihilated by the Ukrainian government," he resumed.
As reported, a religious scholar said that the DESS experts were ardent OCU propagandists and yoga specialists.