UOC faithful: We came in person to once again hand our letters to President

01 April 2021 18:15
Believers brought boxes with signatures to the President’s Office in Kyiv. Photo: UOJ Believers brought boxes with signatures to the President’s Office in Kyiv. Photo: UOJ

The believers' appeal to Zelensky was brought by representatives of several eparchies of the UOC, which were most affected by the actions of the schismatics.

Believers of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church today arrived in Kyiv to personally hand over more than a million signatures, put under the appeal to the President of Ukraine about the persecution of their Church since they had previously been sent by mail and have not received any response. They said this in a comment to the UOJ correspondent.

“Previously, we sent signatures against the renaming of our Church,” said Irina Tikhoniuk, a parishioner of the seized UOC church in the village of Buderazh, Rivne region. “But, having received absolutely no reaction to these letters, we came personally to hand them over to Vladimir Zelensky again. Perhaps, he did not receive them for some technical reason?"

According to the believers, by their visit to the President’s Office, they want to personally draw the attention of the Constitutional Guarantor to the violation of their rights to freedom of religion.

In a commentary to the “1Kozak” channel, a parishioner from the Rivne Eparchy of the UOC stressed that “we are going to ask the leaders of the state for help”.

“We have collected over a million signatures not to be renamed. We are the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. We want to go to church freely so that we are not humiliated and divided. Now we have a big enmity in our country, and we were defined as second-class people. We want to ask the President to be left alone,” the believer explained.

A parishioner from the Vinnytsia region recalled the Latin expression “Non licet vos esse” - with such a sentence, the Roman emperors deprived the first Christians of the right to exist.

“This is how they treat us now – we have no right to exist due to the fact that we belong to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church,” said the UOC believer.

“In 2019, churches in four neighbouring villages were seized in our district alone,” a believer from the Sarny Eparchy told reporters. “We went to court, but we did not sue anything. So, we serve in all possible ways."

As reported, the UOC believers brought appeals to the President’s Office. The text of the appeal is published here.

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