UOC communities “transferred” to OCU without consent in Kirovograd region

UOC community in the village of Uspenka. Photo: facebook.com/bozhko.kirill

Over the past six months, Kirovograd region authorities have illegally re-registered UOC communities to the OCU in four settlements without their knowledge.

The Kirovograd RSA, by its orders, “transferred” the UOC communities in the cities of Kropyvnytskyi and Znamenka and the villages of Olshanka and Uspenka to the OCU without their knowledge, reports the "1Kozak" channel.

As it turned out, the UOC communities in the above-mentioned settlements "transferred" to the OCU by orders of the Kirovograd Regional State Administration, which states that the re-registration allegedly took place "at the request of the religious community and in accordance with Art. 14 of the Law of Ukraine ‘On Freedom of Conscience and Religious Organizations’ and Art. 25 of the Law of Ukraine ‘On Local State Administrations’". However, the communities of the UOC were re-registered without their knowledge and consent.

The documents on the “transfer” of communities were reportedly falsified by ex-head of the Kirovograd Regional State Administration Andrei Balon’ and his deputy, I. Kuzmin.

An example is the forced re-registration of the Holy Dormition Church in vlg. Uspenka, where at the end of 2019, representatives of the authorities, with the participation of the "Right Sector" activists, initiated a meeting of the territorial community of the village, where an illegal decision was made to transfer the church of the UOC to the OCU.

As Archpriest John Onisko, the rector of the Holy Dormition Church, said the RSA informed him that the UOC community was re-registered to the OCU. As for today, there has been no appointed head of the Kirovograd Regional State Administration, no one had the right to approve the statute of the religious organization. However, as the priest explained, it turned out that the first deputy I. Kuzmin signed and registered the statute of the OCU community. The UOC community of vlg. Uspenka filed a complaint with the police.

Commenting on the situation, Archbishop Bogolep of Alexandria and Svetlovodsk stressed that the very fact that the churches of the UOC suddenly "change" their jurisdiction at the stroke of a government official's pen is not just outrageous but testifies to the lawlessness in the religious sphere.

“Our religious communities are confronted with the fact of state arbitrariness, because an official, according to his views, not taking into account the facts of abuse, the substitution of documents or their inaccuracies, can simply restrict the rights of believers, as well as put aside the legal field the lives of Ukrainian citizens. Of course, there should be again judicial proceedings, and we will again have to direct our efforts and time not to prayers, church building or the creation of communities – social, spiritual and cultural moments, but to conflicts,” Vladyka noted and added that by this the local authorities bring discord into the religious life of the region.

The bishop, on behalf of the faithful of the Alexandria Eparchy, called on everyone who can change the situation for the better to do so and resumed that the eparchy will legally defend the rights and interests of the communities.

As reported earlier, the Lviv National Corps boasted of an attack on the house of the UOC priest in Zolochiv.

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