UOC KP and mass media deliberately distort church raiding facts, – Head of the UOC Law Department

The Kyiv Patriarchate and the biased mass media tend to distort the information related to seizures of temples of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, said the head of the UOC Law Department, Archpriest Alexander Bakhov. This is written by the Information and Education Department.

The chief of the Law Department explained that the assembly of the religious community is substituted by the village assembly, and the believers themselves are not even allowed to attend the meeting, as it was in the village of Stary Gvozdets. “Despite this, the resource that claims to be a” religious information service”, wrote that on October 15, 2017, the faithful of the temple of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the village of Stary Gvozdets of Kolomyia District, by an absolute majority, decided to leave the Ivano-Frankivsk eparchy of the UOC and join the Kolomyia eparchy of the UOC-KP,” said the cleric.

He stressed that the issue of changing the jurisdiction of the religious community is now decided by the village assembly having nothing to do with the activities of religious communities, and local authorities “contrary to the law do not simply facilitate but sometimes directly supervise the process. Perhaps not all people realize they violate the law, but the authorities must understand this. It should be borne in mind that the limitation period for bringing to criminal responsibility for inciting religious hatred and raiding is longer than the term for which they were elected,” he said.

Archpriest Alexander Bakhov commented on the statement of the UOC-KP head about the forceful takeover of the UOC churches and that the Kyiv Patriarchate needs believers rather than temples and said that “such statements are cunning, since a significant number of priests who participate in the seizure of the temples of the UOC religious communities belong to the so-called Kyiv Patriarchate. In fact, it is the UOC-KP that becomes the main beneficiary.

Reportedly, the raiding of the two UOC temples in Ivano-Frankivsk region was called “voluntary transitions of religious communities” by Risu.org.ua, which operates under the auspices of the Ukrainian Catholic University.”

Earlier, last week in Ivano-Frankivsk eparchy, there took place illegal seizures of temples of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Roginya village and the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the village of Stary Gvozdets, whereas the parish in honor of St. George the Victorious in Ostrovets village was subject to forced transition to schismatics.

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