Religious conflict in Ptycha shall be addressed by church leaders - Rivne Administration
The regional government has neither rights, nor intention to interfere in the conflict between believers of the Kyiv and Moscow Patriarchates of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, which continues in Ptycha village, Dubno district of Rivne region.
“Under the law, Rivne regional state administration and other executive authorities cannot interfere in religious matters. Therefore the conflict over the church premises in the village of Ptycha, Dubno district, must be settled by representatives of the two patriarchates. If this cannot be done at the level of dioceses, it shall be addressed by the heads of churches ,” First Deputy Chairman of the Rivne Regional State Administration Yuriy Pryvarskoho noted, Ukrinform reports.
However, regional authorities instructed all security services of Rivne to secure peace and order in Ptycha. Under the current legislation, law enforcement agencies have the authority to restrict access to any facilities in Rivne region.
“At the moment, law enforcement officers are successfully carrying out their duties,” Pryvarskyy said.
The headquarters of the National Police main Directorate of Ukraine in Rivne region indicated that the security of the disputed church is ensured by almost two hundred policemen from Radyvyliv, Zdolbuniv, Mlyniv, Dubno district and neighboring areas of Rivne region.
As it was previously reported, the dispute between the faithful of the two patriarchates on the jurisdiction of the church in Ptycha had lasted for about a year. Most locals are adherents of the Kyiv Patriarchate, therefore they want priests of their denomination to perform wortship in the church. But the court hearings, which took place on December 2 in Kyiv with the participation of stakeholders, representatives of the OSCE and Rivne Regional State Administration, dismissed the claims the of the Kyiv Patriarchate over the church in Ptycha. On Friday, December 18, the conflict around the temple exacerbated. The monks and faithful of the Moscow Patriarchate, a total of 400 people, arrived in Ptycha. The clashes sparked between adherents of the two denominations, in which the parties blame each other. Currently, several parishioners and priests of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate) are staying inside the temple. Police is guarding the building.