The period of the presidency of Petro Poroshenko will be assessed by the historians and law enforcement agencies. Although, it is already obvious that over the past five years, too much has been done that can become big troubles for many people. Vadym Novynskyi, Head of the OPPOSITION BLOC faction, announced this today, April 24, from the rostrum of the parliament.
He drew the attention of parliamentarians on the experiments of the authorities in the sphere of religion, aimed at the destruction of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church and the creation of a pocket Orthodox Church of Ukraine (UOC), unrecognized by world Orthodoxy.
“We, MPs of the OPPOSITION BLOC, have repeatedly warned about the possible consequences of state intervention in church affairs. Today, unfortunately, it is already possible to argue about the facts of church raiding, which has become widespread in Ukraine. Using the levers of power and the experience in business, the president acquired the Tomos from the Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew. However, the new organization has not been involved in the issues of faith and spirituality, but focused its efforts on secular and political interests,” Vadym Novynskyi emphasized.
According to him, in a significant number of areas of Ukraine there are massive cases of illegal seizure of property, religious buildings and facilities owned and used by religious communities of the UOC. These raider actions are carried out by holding meetings of territorial communities, during which illegal decisions are made and fake protocols are drawn up. All these cases of illegal acquiring of property are accompanied by clashes, violence and falsification of documents. At the same time, all UOC communities physically continue their existence and carry out a religious life led by priests. However, the authorities do not even take this into account.
“We see obvious discrimination on religious grounds and the separation of believers into “right” and “wrong”. Officials of the regional state administrations, on the basis of fictitious documents, illegally re-registered 80 parishes of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. The largest number of such actions was recorded in Rivne and Volyn Oblasts,” the oppositionist insists.
In particular, in the decrees on the registration of the statutes of religious communities, the Chair of the Rivne Regional State Administration Oleksiy Muliarenko and the Chair of the Volyn Regional State Administration Oleksandr Savchenko in a new version, in connection with the change of subordination, illegally registered the statutes of religious organizations with the change of their location and legal title. This resulted in numerous attacks on temples, priests and believers of the UOC. This was particularly evident in the Zdolbuniv, Korets and Goschansk District State Administrations, Kurozvansk and Sestriatynsk village councils, Radyvylivsk district council, the Bereznivsky department of the police and village council, the city of Berestechko and in the Lutsk city council, as well as in many others.
In addition, violation of legislation in the field of state registration of religious communities takes place in Kyiv, Vinnytsia, Zhytomyr, Transcarpathian and other areas of Ukraine.
Vadym Novinsky, relying on these blatant illegal facts, appealed to MPs to immediately begin to correct the crimes committed. “It is necessary to stop the church raiding, to adopt a new balanced legislation regulating relations between confessions and the degree of possible state intervention in issues related to church problems,” the politician said.
He warned that for each illegal act, each fact of persecution, pressure or attack on priests or believers of the UOC an appropriate legal assessment would be given. Each capture and fake document, each illegal regulation will not be forgotten. “I appeal to officials and representatives of local self-government – do not do anything that will necessarily have consequences, follow only the laws and respect the rights and freedoms of citizens of Ukraine!” the Head of the opposition faction emphasized.