Chernivtsi City Council strips UOC communities of land use rights
The Chernivtsi-Bukovyna Eparchy of the UOC notes that the City Council of the regional centre grossly violated the law "On Local Self-Government in Ukraine".
On 27 April 2023, the Chernivtsi City Council at its session decided to deprive the communities of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the right to permanently use land plots, reports the press service of the Chernivtsi-Bukovyna Eparchy of the UOC.
According to the decision of the City Council, the land was taken away from 24 parishes and monasteries.
The deputies ignored the appeal of a Chernivtsi believer Tetiana Kashevko, who spoke at the session.
"Our defenders in the trenches are not divided on the ground of faith or language because they know that their strength is in unity, and we here in the rear must be united," Tetiana said. “Tens of thousands of UOC believers are defending their homeland with arms in their hands. Don't divide us by your decision into worthy and unworthy, into black and white, we are all Chernivtsi residents. Please, act only within your authority and in accordance with the law of Ukraine, without violating the rights guaranteed by the Constitution".
These words made part of the deputies laugh.
The press service of the eparchy points out that the City Council has grossly violated the law "On Local Self-Government in Ukraine". According to Chernivtsi lawyer Valeriy Dutka, the city authorities have no authority to deprive religious organizations of the right to use the land – this can only be done through a court if the organization violates the terms of using the plot and fails to eliminate these violations.
The deputy director of the Department of Urbanism and Architecture of the Chernivtsi City Council, Denys Hrechanyi, said in a commentary to suspilne.media that now the officials are checking whether there is the municipal property on the land plots used by the UOC communities. The department will prepare a separate draft resolution of the City Council regarding this property.
As reported, the Bila Tserkva city councillors decided to strip the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of its rights to land plots and also voted for the transfer of the Holy Transfiguration Cathedral of the UOC to the city authorities.