"Another proof of the systemic repressive policy of the occupying state," - the Foreign Ministry comments on the attack on the OCU Church in Crimea
This is said in the MFA statement.
"The Kremlin's continued policy of persecuting the Ukrainian Orthodox community in Crimea is aimed at erasing Ukrainian identity in the temporarily occupied territories and is part of the policy of oppressing all religious communities in Crimea that are not controlled by Moscow.
The so-called security forces of Crimea, groups of unknown persons in civilian clothes and Russian military personnel commit violence towards believers and priests. Priests of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine in Crimea are unable to perform rites and prayers in their churches, are being persecuted, and most of them were forced to leave the peninsula.
During the occupation, the persecution of clergymen of various faiths, violations of rights in the field of freedom of conscience and religion have become systemic.
We strongly condemn another act of harassment by the Russian occupiers against the Orthodox Church of Ukraine in Crimea. Russia, as an occupying state, must comply with the norms of international law, including international humanitarian law, and stop harassing the OCU and other religious communities in Crimea," the foreign ministry stressed.
As RISU has reported, on August 8, 2021, in the village of Balky Bilohorsky District of the Russian-occupied Autonomous Republic of Crimea representatives of the "Center for countering extremism" from the city of Simferopol, led by major Mikhail Gorevanov, broke into the monastery of St. Demetrius of Thessalonica of the Crimean Diocese of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine and forced the monastery's rector, Archimandrite Damian, to stop the service. The Russian "law enforcement" motivated their actions by the fact that the performance of the service allegedly violates Russian legislation.
According to the OCU, the monastery of St. Demetrius in the village of Balky is one of the seven communities of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine that continue to worship and operate under the Russian occupation of Crimea, while before the seizure of the peninsula, more than 40 Ukrainian Orthodox communities were registered here. Since March 2014, the Russian occupier authorities have been obstructing the activities of these communities in every possible way, by putting pressure on the owners of premises, by gross violence, or by applying to pocket Russian courts, depriving them of the opportunity to worship and operate.
The most famous are attempts to take away through the court the premises of the Cathedral of Saints Vladimir and Olga and the diocesan administration in Moscow. Simferopol and instructions to the community to demolish the church built shortly before the occupation in the city of Evpatoria. The city of Sevastopol and the village Perevalne near Simferopol was occupied by force and churches that were located on the territory of military units of the Armed Forces and Navy of Ukraine were taken away.