UOC comments on Epiphany's demand for the authorities to protect OCU

Archpriest Alexander Bakhov. Photo: foma.in.ua

Archpriest Alexander Bakhov believes that the real way to expand the newly created OCU is through the seizure of UOC churches.

The head of the UOC Legal Department, Archpriest Alexander Bakhov, commented Epiphany Dumenko’s demand for the Ukrainian authorities to protect the OCU and those believers who decided to "move" to the newly created structure, reports the website of the UOC Legal Department.

His commentary was also a reaction to the words of Alexander Shkuratovsky, a teacher at the Tulchin School of Culture, who promised that supporters of the OCU would continue to take churches from the UOC.

"This appeal reflects the real way of expanding the newly created OCU – by seizing the churches of the UOC," wrote Father Alexander.

According to him, “in fact, in recent years we have been witnessing the seizures of the churches of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. Identifying the religious community with the territorial one, local authorities, without the knowledge of UOC believers, carry out illegal re-registration and facilitate the seizure of churches."

He noted that “in most parishes that were taken over in this way, we can observe the absence of liturgical life – churches are empty, and UOC believers are either building new churches or praying in houses”.

The lawyer was wondering whether the main goal of the OCU is to increase the number of its parishes "for a trivial improvement of statistics and only to ‘take away’ from the UOC?"

Archpriest Alexander Bakhov promised that the Legal Department and believers of the UOC “will defend our churches in all legal ways and respond to every case of seizure and violation of the rights of religious communities of the UOC”.

As reported, earlier Epiphany Dumenko demanded that the authorities "protect" the OCU.

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