Court punishes a priest of the UOC-MP for inciting religious hatred
This is reported by "Court Reporter".
On trial was the rector of the Holy Intercession Church of the Shostka Deanery (Konotop Diocese) of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate.
Father Andronik sent posts on Facebook from his own mobile phone against the construction of a church of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine in the village of Voronizh, Sumy region, considering such a church canonical.
"I was waiting for them to publish it and here is the news! In our Voronizh, they are not building an Orthodox Church! There is simply no limit to our residents' indignation, and yet the local authorities (who never visit the temple of God) ignore this. They themselves are far from the Church and also promote the church split. The ancient village of Voronizh does not need the 4th church-which is allegedly called "Orthodox", but in fact, it is not the one! There are already three Orthodox churches! And people don't attend them, so why build an additional temple? Do they really have nothing else to spend money for?" Andronik wrote on August 25, 2019.
On December 3, 2019, the priest posted a number of other messages.
"A NON-Orthodox Church, which Voronizh doesn't need at all! There are 3 ancient temples in our village that require help and support, the 4th temple is not needed! Let people think correctly if their head does not. No one conducted a social survey among the residents (which would have been appropriate by the way), everyone just put up with the fact that the local chairman allocated a place for the construction of the schismatic temple.
Father Andronik disparagingly called representatives of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine "pcushniki".
"And the local authorities are happy to be useful to the OCU, as "conscious patriots". Will they go there themselves or do they only "take care" of the people, why do they need this church?.. Voronizh residents are unable to restore and repair the Holy Intercession Church, the local authorities have not invested absolutely any funds, the rector of the church does some crowdfunding to perform services at least in a small extension (not to mention what global repair work is necessary for the main structure of the church). However, the local leaders found the money to build the schismatic OCU temple.
According to the conclusion of the Bokarius Institute, the priest's messages contain public calls for hostility to certain social groups of people based on religious and class affiliation and the need to directly restrict the rights to build their church for a group of people who support the Orthodox Church of Ukraine.
For such actions, the priest may face up to 3 years in prison (under Part 1 of Article 161 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine).
The court received a plea agreement, on the basis of which the court punished the father with a fine of 8500 hryvnias. He must also compensate the state for UAH 6,864 of the cost of involving an expert.
Andronik-Zenkov's Facebook page is currently unavailable. At the same time, the father still has a YouTube channel where he posts recordings from the church, in particular, in October 2017, he published three videos signed as "An interview with MP Nadezhda Savchenko."