UOC Legal Department on Chernivtsi incident: Is pilgrimage a crime now?
Authorities deployed the entire police force to prevent believers from making the pilgrimage to Pochaiv, the head of the UOC Legal Department said.
The head of the UOC Legal Department, Archpriest Oleksandr Bakhov, commenting on the incident in Chernivtsi, said that the police actions "were illegal and violated not only the right to freedom of religion but also the right to movement," reports the UOC Telegram channel.
"Unequivocally, such actions of law enforcement agencies are illegal and violate not only the right to freedom of religion but also the right to movement. The latter, by the way, in the western regions, today even under martial law is not restricted," said the head of the UOC Legal Department, Archpriest Oleksandr Bakhov.
"The authorities of the Chernivtsi region sent the entire police force to prevent the faithful from going on pilgrimage to Pochaiv. Is a trip to pray to the shrine today considered a crime?" he added.
On March 24, 2023, in the Chernivtsi region, police stopped two buses with people who were going on a pilgrimage to the Pochaiv Lavra.
As reported earlier, the believers, who were not allowed to go to Pochaiv, said they would go on a hunger strike.