Lawyer: Over 100 UOC parishes are illegally converted to OCU in Kyiv region
Archpriest Nikita Chekman noted that the illegal re-registration of charters of religious communities is a crime under Art. 364 of the Criminal Code.
Only in the Kyiv region, the authorities carried out more than a hundred illegal re-registrations of the communities of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in the OCU. Archpriest Nikita Chekman, lawyer of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra, said this in an interview with the website dialogtut.org.
“People who have nothing to do with a religious community from a legal point of view vote for its transition to another jurisdiction,” Fr. Nikita said. “And officials receive documents that contradict the requirements of the law, but still make decisions on registering charters in a new edition and on changing their confessional affiliation.”
According to the lawyer, such actions of civil servants have signs of a crime under Article 364 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine (abuse of power or official position – Ed.).
“We hope law enforcement agencies will properly investigate everything. We use all possible procedural instruments for this end,” the lawyer said.
He also explained who has the right to decide on the jurisdiction of a religious community.
“They have statutes that stipulate who can be a member of a religious community and what decisions he can make. As a rule, this is a person who regularly participates in the Sacraments in this particular church, confesses and takes communion, is in obedience to the rector, agrees with the Charter on the management of the UOC, etc. That is, there is a certain exhaustive list, possibly imperfect from the point of view legal protection, but defined by statute. A person who does not meet the criteria stipulated by the charter of a religious community has neither the legal nor the moral right to interfere in the life of a particular parish,” the archpriest emphasized.
As the UOJ reported, on May 31, in the village of Cherniakhiv, Kyiv region, OCU activists seized the UOC temple without waiting for a court decision in the case of its illegal re-registration.