UOC calls on MIA head to take seizure case in Krasnoselka under control

Metropolitan Anthony (Pakanich). Photo: facebook.com / MitropolitAntoniy

Met. Anthony called the seizure of the church of the Tulchin Eparchy the "fruit" of the visit of Patriarch Bartholomew to Ukraine, the Church had warned of in advance.

The Ukrainian Orthodox Church calls on the head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine Denis Monastyrsky to take personal control of the investigation into the seizure of the St. John the Theological Church in Krasnoselka, Vinnytsia region, which took place on September 3, 2021, says the UOC Chancellor, Metropolitan Anthony (Pakanich) of Boryspil and Brovary, to Vesti.ua.

The hierarch noted that the case in Krasnoselka shows the consistency of an expert forecast about the negative consequences of the visit of the Phanar head to Ukraine and a new wave of seizures of churches.

“As we can see, such a scenario, unfortunately, is gradually beginning to become a reality. That is why we called on Patriarch Bartholomew to refuse his visit to Kyiv. He made a different decision, and now, first of all, he is responsible for the new grief and new troubles the Orthodox believers in Ukraine are experiencing,” Metropolitan Anthony emphasized.

The position of some law enforcement officers who do not want to stop the offences is also unpleasantly striking, added the UOC Chancellor. The Krasnoselka case, where the police were present at the scene of the raider attack but did not interfere with it in any way, is far from being the only one: “in recent years, with the connivance of the law enforcement forces, dozens of UOC churches have been seized”.

In this regard, the UOC asks the head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs about the following:

  • to take under personal control both the investigation of the seizure of the St. John the Theological Church of the UOC in Krasnoselka and the issue of comprehensive counteraction to raider attacks on church property in all regions of Ukraine;
  • to make part of the management audit of the Ministry of Internal Affairs the subject of the quality of the response of the regional departments of the ministry to the problem of seizing the property of religious communities of the UOC;
  • ensure that those involved in violent actions during attacks on churches and believers of the UOC (perpetrators, organizers and accomplices of the relevant crimes) are brought to justice;
  • ensure the prosecution of officials of the regional regional state administrations involved in the illegal re-registration of religious communities of the UOC into the jurisdiction of the OCU.

“We also propose to include the issue of resolving the problem of raider seizures of church property in the list of topics that are discussed at the level of direct contact between the Minister of Internal Affairs and the President of Ukraine. Because this threat is a direct challenge to public security and stability throughout our state.

For our part, we express our readiness for dialogue with law enforcement agencies on all relevant issues. After all, it is in our common interests to maintain peace and tranquility within the Ukrainian society,” resumed the UOC Chancellor.

As reported, on September 3, supporters of the OCU seized the St. John the Theological Church in Krasnoselka, previously sealed by the police. The Tulchin Eparchy condemned the seizure and decided to send Zelensky a letter of protest, while the Legal Department of the UOC reported that the affected community still has legal mechanisms that allow it to protect its rights.

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