UOC-MP internationally declares about “persecution” and “forceful seizure of churches”
The respective statement was released by the Representation of the UOC-MP to European International Organizations. The Appeal was distributed on May 31 by the official website of the UOC-MP.
The UOC-MP stated that reports on the transfer of the UOC-MP communities to another denomination do not correspond to reality, that this is nothing more than a "raider seizure of communities and churches."
The UOC-MP did not ignore the provision of a Tomos for the OCU by Patriarch Bartholomew.
The UOC-MP accuses Patriarch Bartholomew of "aggravating discrimination and pressure on the UOC-MP due to the granting of privileges to this denomination by the authorities in Ukraine and the high level of hate propaganda against the UOC."
"The Tomos on autocephaly of the OCU is invalid and has no canonical force. Mass crimes against the believers of the UOC as well as a discriminatory state policy allow us to conclude that the policy of the Patriarchate of Constantinople has created serious conditions for growing human rights violations in Ukraine in the religious field," the UOC-MP Representation said in a statement.
The UOC-MP also complained that the UN recommendations on the inadmissibility of creating privileged churches are not being implemented in Ukraine: "the newly created structure of the “OCU” was arbitrarily granted the temple of the St. Sophia of Kyiv complex, while repeated attempts by the UOC to obtain a similar right were ignored. Structures of the UOC in other regions of Ukraine face similar restrictions on their rights, notably with the allocation of land plots to the UOC communities for the construction of churches, as well as with the implementation of other legal rights that are currently blocked for political reasons or are extremely hampered."
The statement of the UOC-MP also reads: " If the state authorities of Ukraine had ensured the voluntary change of confessional affiliation and hadn’t given preferences to the OCU, the creation of the new religious structure wouldn’t have eventuated in tragic clashes around the communities of the UOC, which are forced to change their jurisdiction by various political forces and radical organizations."
The UOC-MP also stated that "the process of so-called "transitions" of UOC communities to the OCU is provided with significant administrative support at the level of central and regional authorities, and state authorities of the highest level openly demonstrate the privileged position of the OCU."
The UOC-MP is also outraged by the fact that " ere is a deplorably steady trend in Ukraine of targeting and labeling UOC believers ostensibly as adherents of a certain geopolitical position, the “Russian world” ideology and policies of the Russian Federation while the “Ukrainian Orthodox Church” – a conductor of the Kremlin propaganda and a mechanism for the destruction of the national unity of Ukraine.
The Representation of the UOC-MP to European International Organizations brought to the attention of the UN HRC, UN HRC, OSCE, the UN High Commissioner for human rights, the representative for freedom of media in the OSCE region, the UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion and belief, PACE, EU parliamentarians, the EU Committee on combating discrimination, the EU Special Ambassador for the promotion of freedom of religion outside the EU, international human rights organizations, representatives of the journalistic community.