Head of State Ethnopolitics: Only believers can decide fate of UOC temple

Elena Bohdan addressed Bilohorodka residents. Photo: UOJ

Elene Bohdan, speaking at a meeting on the transfer of a UOC church community to the OCU in Bilohorodka, reminded the residents of their right to freedom of religion.

Only believers who attend worship services, maintain the church and participate in its life have the right to vote on the transfer of the religious community to another jurisdiction. This was stated by the head of the State Service of Ukraine for Ethnopolitics and Freedom of Conscience Elena Bohdan, addressing the residents of Bilohorodka, who organized the transfer of the church community from the UOC to the PCU.

"A religious community is people who attend services in this temple, donate to this temple, do something that makes this temple alive. If there is no religious community, then the temple is empty. Accordingly, the people who are parishioners, or patrons, or otherwise involved in the religious life of this temple should make a decision here today, according to the current legislation," Bohdan noted and warned citizens about the consequences of illegal "transfer" of a temple by people who have no connection with the church community.

"Imagine a situation where a decision is taken instead of the religious community. This ultimately means that the church will either be empty or closed, or simply we will not be able to continue the religious life there," stressed the head of the State Service of Ukraine for Ethnopolitics and Freedom of Conscience.

Elena Bohdan also read to the audience the decisions of the Council of Feofania, which declared the full independence of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, but the residents of Bilohorodka did not listen to her and began shouting insults at the civil servant.

"UOC believers also serve in the AFU, relatives of UOC priests also serve in the AFU. As long as society within Ukraine understands each other, hears each other, we are all stronger together, otherwise we are weaker, and it will definitely work for the enemy," Elena Bohdan concluded her speech. 

As reported, Elena Bohdan said that the renaming of UOC churches would not lead to the result desired by the authorities.

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Poll

How has your life changed since the outbreak of war?
It hasn't changed in any way
67%
My church has been seized by OCU members
13%
My church has been damaged/destroyed by shelling
8%
I'm going to another church because of displacement
12%
Total votes: 24

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