Drohobych OCU receives UOC church as gift: Thanks to authorities for wisdom

The Cathedral of St. Job of Pochaiv in Drohobych. Photo: drohobych-rada.gov.ua

In Drohobych, after the seizure of the temple, the Drohobych City Council gave another 0.6 hectares of land under it.

On August 18, 2022, Drohobych City Council deputies voted to transfer for permanent use the land of 6,042 square meters under the seized Cathedral of St. Job of Pochaiv (UOC) to the Drogobych-Sambor "eparchy" of the OCU, reports the official website of the City Council.

Drohobych Mayor Taras Kuchma stressed that this is "another step in the historic process of eradicating the Moscow Patriarchate from the community and from Ukraine in general". The deputies supported the decision unanimously.

On May 25, 2022, a city council commission headed by the mayor declared the Ukrainian Orthodox Church property of the city and sealed it up. A representative of the OCU, who was present at the commission, said that the diocese of the schismatics "decided to take over" the religious community of St. Job’s Cathedral.

The authorities actually ignored the words of UOC rector, Archpriest Mykola Mandziuk, that permission to build the cathedral and the design documentation was officially registered with the city department of architecture.

According to the parishioners, on May 27, 2022, some people arrived at the cathedral in 2 buses. In the presence of officials, they broke down the doors and held a prayer service.

"The city council's decision to transfer the property to communal ownership was announced allegedly due to the lack of documents from the Ukrainian Orthodox Church community, which had built the church," the faithful wrote on the church's Facebook page.

The UOC religious community of St. Job of Pochaiv in Drohobych has been building the cathedral and ancillary buildings for 28 years. "From the beginning of the construction until recently, there have been no accusations of illegal development," said community members.

The parishioners added that the works were carried out at the expense of the church community, which had submitted the issue of land privatisation to the City Council session six times. However, the officials did not take a decision and did not provide any documents, which made it impossible to challenge their decision in court.

The parishioners of the seized church have to gather outside for prayers because the OCU raiders do not even allow them to enter the church grounds. The authorities unfoundedly accuse the community of being 'not Ukrainian' and announce the construction of a garrison church named after Petro Sahaydachny on the basis of the cathedral.

The parishioners of the seized cathedral continue to pray at the church gates for peace in Ukraine and for a legal solution to the issue.

The rector of the St. Job of Pochaiv Cathedral daily offers prayers for almost 100 parishioners who defend the state of Ukraine on the front line.

As reported, in Dorotyshche, OCU members came to the UOC temple as a "commission of the culture department".

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