Zolochiv City Council: There is no and won’t be Moscow church in the city!
The deputies unanimously banned the "alleged" construction of the UOC temple in Zolochiv and appealed to Zelensky "on the total prohibition of MP churches in Ukraine".
After representatives of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (UGCC) and public activists announced the possible appearance of a temple of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Zolochiv, Lviv Region, Mayor Igor Grinkov said that in their city "there will be no Moscow church." This decision was also supported by deputies of the Zolochiv City Council, who voted unanimously to ban the construction of the UOC church on July 10, 2020, at an extraordinary session.
“The main issue that was considered at the session is a violation of urban planning legislation and an attempt to illegally build the Moscow Patriarchate’s church in Ivan Trush Street, under the guise of building an individual residential building,” Grinkov said in a video address following an extraordinary meeting of the City Council. “<...> There has never been any community of the Moscow Patriarchate in Zolochiv, so the construction of the church building of this Patriarchate is unacceptable and contrary to the interests of the Zolochiv community, which will never put up with the existence of an alien Church in our city.”
Accusing the UOC of anti-Ukrainian propaganda, supporting separatists and refusing to provide funeral services to Ukrainian soldiers, the mayor added that “deputies of the Zolochiv City Council decided to appeal to the head of the Regional State Administration Maxim Kozitsky, to the law enforcement and regulatory authorities with a clear demand: stop the violation of urban planning legislation so that to prevent the erection of the Moscow Patriarchate’s church here under the guise of a residential building.”
“Also, the deputies of the city council decided to ban the activities of the churches of the Moscow Patriarchate in Ukraine and we forwarded the corresponding appeal to President of Ukraine Vladimir Zelensky and speaker of the Verkhovna Rada Dmitry Razumkov,” the official said.
At the same time, Grinkov himself previously noted that the construction of the UOC church under the guise of a residential building on Trush Street is “so far only my assumptions and those of my colleagues from the city council”.
“The city architect examined the land plot development plan, the plan for future development, and suggested that it is possible to adapt this supposedly residential building to a temple,” the mayor of Zolochiv wrote on his FB page on July 8.
The Lviv Eparchy of the UOC, which the Union of Orthodox Journalists asked for comment, said that no temple of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church is constructed in Zolochiv.
“About a year ago, our priest bought an old house in Zolochiv for himself and his family and is now repairing it. They are not building a temple there,” Archpriest Alexander Ivanchenko, secretary of the eparchy, told UOJ.
Recall that earlier the UGCC priests and activists of Zolochiv protested against the construction of the UOC church in the city. According to them, under the guise of a residential building in Trush Street, believers of the UOC are building an “FSB military unit” to extract information and do sabotage activity.