UGCC may be prohibited in Crimea
For the first time in its history from the time of its leaving the underground, the UGCC faces a challenge of liquidation of its Exarchate in Crimea. Crimean authorities issued a law according to which all religious organizations must undergo the process of re-registration by the end of 2014. There is no guarantee that this process will confirm the right of the UGCC to exist in these lands.
This was announced by the patriarch, head of the UGCC, during a press conference held on October 23, 2014, in Lviv, within the meeting of the Eastern Catholic bishops of Europe, which this year is dedicated to the 25th anniversary of legalization of the UGCC.
In Crimea there are five Greek-Catholic parishes: in Yevpatoria, Simferopol, Sevastopol, Yalta, Kerch. As you know, the Greek Catholic priests during the annexation of the Crimea were arrested and even for a time left the area. However, a priest in Yevpatoria has performed his ministry by the present and other priests visit their parishes every three months. The reason is that under the effective legislation of the Russian Federation pastors may legally serve on the peninsula only during three months.
With regards to the situation of the UGCC in the area of ATO, which corresponds to the territory of the Exarchate of Donetsk, now in Donetsk are two priests whom the terrorists granted a right to serve there on legal grounds. In nine other cities of the Exarchate the worship is performed on Sundays and holidays. “Exarch of Donetsk Bishop Stephen was forced to leave the territory of the Exarchate for a time, as his home was captured by militants, so was the Convent of the Sisters Servants of All Saints of the Ukrainian people in Donetsk,” he said.
“Please pray for those priests who are staying out there because they are risking their lives. In addition, our attention is now also focused on assistance to refugees from the Exarchates Kharkiv, Donetsk and Odessa. In this direction, we collaborate with Caritas charity foundation,” said the head of the UGCC, as reported by the Information Department of the UGCC.