UOC Law Dept. to Zolochiv authorities: Ban on UOC? Why not war on Poland?
In Ukraine, everyone is guaranteed the right to pray and worship without hindrance, and permission is not needed for this, emphasized Archpriest Alexander Bakhov.
Archpriest Alexander Bakhov, head of the Legal Department of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, commented on the situation in Zolochiv, the Lviv region, where local authorities led the persecution of a clergyman of the Lviv Eparchy of the UOC and demand that the activities of the canonical Church be banned in their town and in Ukraine in general.
The day before, opponents of the UOC held a “veche” in Zolochiv near Priest Maxim Joenko’s house, whose repairs he is currently engaged in, suspecting the construction of the “MP” church. The event was led by Zolochiv Mayor Igor Grynkiv, who came to the "veche" with a sledgehammer.
“Documents on the right of ownership and on the reconstruction of the residential building where the priest lives are in order,” said the head of the UOC Legal department on his Facebook page. “On the territory of the household, in addition to repairs in the rooms, no work is being carried out. A question arises: On what ground did the mayor decide that a church is being built? Indeed, on the territory of the household, there is even no construction equipment, they do not dig trenches under the foundation and do not pour concrete. There is no evidence that a church is under construction. It turns out they suggested that a church could probably be built on this land. You know, there you can build a store, a car park, a gas station, you can build a lot there, as you might have guessed? The fence is in the wrong place! <...> A trailer stands on a private land plot. Do you know that the owner can put at least 10 trailers on his land plot?”
He said that in Zolochiv, three land plots were allocated for the UGCC, two for the OCU and one for the RCC, “but they want to deprive the UOC priest of his own private housing, and the local residents are divided on a religious ground”.
“They gathered a veche. Why not a gathering? Or maybe a hook-up? Such a form of organizing a meeting of a territorial community as a veche is not provided for by law, therefore, any decisions made at such meetings are illegal and void. <...> They banned the activity of the religious community of the UOC, really? Maybe, you will declare war on Poland?” added the head of the UOC Legal Department.
The clergyman recalled that a religious community can carry out its activities without registration.
“You should know that everyone is guaranteed the right to pray and worship without hindrance, and permission is not needed for this,” Archpriest Alexander Bakhov emphasized.
As reported, on July 14, 2020, the Zolochiv mayor brought a sledgehammer to the "veche" against the UOC. During the meeting, he called the reconstruction of the house acquired by Priest Maxim “a provocation”.