Zolochiv power demands in court to demolish fence of UOC priest's house

The fence of the UOC priest's house in Zolochiv destroyed by radicals. Photo: Archpriest Nikolai Danilevich's Facebook page

In Zolochiv, local authorities filed a lawsuit to destroy a fence on a private plot of the UOC cleric Maxim Yoenko.

On September 3, 2020, the Zolochiv District Court began considering the claim of the Zolochiv Mayor's Office, which demands to demolish the fence around the house of the UOC priest Maksim Yoenko, NGO Public Advocacy reports.

The municipal authorities want to destroy a metal fence on the privately owned land plot, which is a criminal offence.

Human rights activists note that such a lawsuit publicly discriminates against believers of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church at the state level. This discrimination "is reflected not only in the rhetoric of individual politicians or officials, but also in official documents of state authorities, as well as de facto unlawful actions of the authorities."

During the trial, the plaintiffs themselves may become suspects, because the court has the right to make a separate decision if it detects signs of a criminal offence. The signs of illegal actions committed by the Zolochiv authorities are as follows: discrimination and pressure on believers led to the fact that the radicals destroyed the fence on a private territory.

The website of the human rights organization reported that it would continue to work on this case and the actions of officials would be considered at the international level.

As the UOJ reported, the persecution of believers and the priest of the UOC Maxim Yoenko in Zolochiv began in July 2020. Representatives of the UGCC and local authorities accused Father Maxim of illegally building a church on his private territory. The gate of the cleric of the Lviv diocese of the UOC was painted with insults and Nazi symbols, a veche was held near his house against the UOC, and the priest with his family were offered to leave the city.

On August 6, militants from the Lviv National Corps demolished the fence around the priest's house with hammers, and a week later, unknown assailants attacked a children's store in Zolochiv, owned by a UOC parishioner.

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