Ministry of Culture suggests local authorities deal with the situation in Kolomyia

The difficulty of the situation with the seizure of the Annunciation of the Most Holy Theotokos Church in Kolomyiais that two communities were planning to take it over: the UOC-KP and the UGCC, just one got ahead of the other. This was stated by the Director of the Department for Religious and Ethnic Affairs under the Ministry of Culture Andrei Yurash on November 21 during a press conference “State-Confessional politics in Ukraine. Results and Challenges”.

“There are no documents for the use of the church. The community (of the UOC –Ed.) did not do them on time, when the church was assigned to it in the early 1990s, and did not draw up an agreement with the regional state administration. That is, it de facto has used the church without title documents,” says the official.

According to him, at a community meeting of the UOC-KP held in Kolomyia, out of 140 members 96 voted for the seizure of the church, but at that time the church was already “occupied” by the UGCC community.

Further, the official suggests the Ivano-Frankivsk regional administration deal with this issue.

The representative of the Ministry of Culture approves this despite the fact that on October 4 the Ivanovo-Frankivsk District Administrative Court recognized the legitimacy of the rights of the UOC community to the Annunciation of the Most Holy Theotokos Church in Kolomyia and the sealing of the church – illegal. The court concluded that the decisions of the “working group”, in particular the sealing of the church belfry and the establishment of the alternate services of the UOC and UGCC communities in the church, were illegal, and even decided to charge 1,600 hryvnia from the Kolomyia police department and the Kolomyia City Council in favor of the religious community of the UOC.

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