UOC Chancellor to Zelenskyy: Seizure situations require your intervention
Metropolitan Anthony of Boryspil and Brovary appealed to Volodymyr Zelenskyy about the seizure of churches in his diocese.
Metropolitan Anthony of Boryspil and Brovary, the UOC Chancellor, appealed to President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky with a request to stop the iniquities being committed against the believers of the diocese in his purview. The text of the appeal was published on the official website of the Boryspil Eparchy.
In his appeal, Bishop Anthony noted that the Boryspil eparchy helps refugees, hospitals, the military and the defense, who are in need, takes care of people who ended up in a difficult situation as a result of hostilities. At the same time, certain state agents and local self-government authorities continue to violate the rights of believers to freely practice their Orthodox faith.
The hierarch noted that in the Kyiv region, deputies of the Brovary city council, Boryspil city council, Pereyaslav city council, Prystolychny village council and Novi Petrivtsi village council made illegal decisions to ban the activities of parishes of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in the respective territories. “The practice of the previous authorities of seizing our Orthodox churches under the guise of ‘transitions’ of religious communities continues. To date, the Kyiv Regional Military Administration has made decisions on the illegal re-registration of 56 of our religious communities in favor of the OCU. Believing Orthodox Christians are illegally deprived of their property and forced to transfer to another confession – ‘OCU’. Moreover, the seizure of temples is often accompanied by the use of threats and violence against believers,” the appeal says.
Metropolitan Anthony also informed the President that Ihor Sapozhko, mayor of Brovary city, Kyiv region, informed on his Facebook page that at the meeting of the executive committee, there was agreed on the lease of the complex of buildings and structures in the village of Kniazhychi, which are legally owned by the Transfiguration Monastery of the Savior of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, to the Orthodox Church of Ukraine. In addition, the deputies of the Brovary City Council agreed on the termination of the right to permanent use of a land plot of 0.59 hectares by the religious community in honor of the Transfiguration of the Savior of the Boryspil diocese of the UOC.
Vladyka pointed out that the actions of local authorities contradict the Constitution of Ukraine, the Land Code of Ukraine, violate the unity of the Ukrainian people and incite religious hatred. In addition, the actions of officials of the Brovary City Council are deemed as arbitrary, containing signs of a criminal offense, since the decision to terminate land use can only be made in court.
“The decision to transfer the structures of the monastery complex, which are legally owned by the UOC, to the jurisdiction of the OCU is illegal, violates the principle of equality and creates an atmosphere of religious intolerance in the region, since the monks and thousands of Orthodox believers in the village of Kniazhychi, who at their own expense and with their labor rebuilt these structures, are not going to leave this monastery, which has become their home,” added His Eminence.
“Today, violations of the rights of believers of the Boryspil diocese of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church to freedom of their religion have become commonplace and continue to gain momentum. The situation needs your immediate intervention in order to maintain peace and stability in the state. Every effort must be made to stop this chaos. We request you, dear Volodymyr Olaksandrovych, to immediately intervene and protect the rights of the citizens of Ukraine – the believers of the Boryspil diocese of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and take all possible actions to stop religious hatred and violation of the unity of the Ukrainian people," with these words, the Chancellor of the UOC ended his appeal and invoked God's blessing on the Head of State.
Recall that in June 2022, Metropolitan Anthony addressed the President of Ukraine because of the situation in the Boryspil diocese.