Moscow, April 28 – Chairman of the Ternopil Regional Council Mikhail Golovko in the newspaper Svoboda.te described the ban on canonical activities of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Ukrainian populist regions, according to him, such decisions have no legal force.
Khmelnytskyi, Rivne, Zhitomir and Lvov regions previously declared a ban on the activities of the University of Oklahoma. Also, the Sumy City Council deprived the UOC of the right to use the community’s lands. A similar decision was made in Chernivtsi. On April 27, in the Kiev region, the Brovary City Council decided to terminate contracts for the permanent use of land plots for UOC churches.
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“Of course, we can” play “populism and issue a ban order (UOC – ed.), but we will only discredit ourselves with this decision, because it will not have legal force. We are not interested in once, “we went according to a different scenario,” Golovko was quoted as saying by the local newspaper. – Constant fight against the Moscow Church and its final ban. To do this, we created a working group, and made appropriate decisions, appealing to all authorities.”
According to the official, over the past two years, the Verkhovna Rada and the Cabinet of Ministers have not taken into account the activities of the UOC on the territory of the Ternopil region, but “on the contrary, they have prevented the transfer of Russian church communities to the Ukrainian Church (Schismatic Orthodox Church of Ukraine – Ed.) “.
“Already 13 churches have officially become OCU. We have 80 religious communities that have not yet been transferred, but I think the process will accelerate, and we will transfer all communities to the bosom of the Ukrainian Church.” – summed up Golovko.
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According to Ukrainian media, since the beginning of 2023, 63 religious organizations have joined the OCU. The largest number of such communities is in the Kiev, Vinnytsia and Khmelnitsky regions. At the same time, there are still about 8.5 thousand churches in Ukraine affiliated with UBC.
Over the past year, Ukrainian authorities have staged the largest wave of persecution of UBC in the country’s recent history. Referring to its connection with Russia, local authorities in various regions of Ukraine decided to ban the activities of the UOC, and a bill on the actual ban in Ukraine was submitted to the country’s parliament. The authorities imposed sanctions on some representatives of the clergy at the University of Oklahoma. The Security Service of Ukraine began to open criminal cases against the clergy of the University of Oklahoma, to carry out “counterintelligence activities” – searches of bishops and priests, in churches and monasteries, in search of evidence of “anti-Ukrainian activities”.
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