UOC-MP files complaint with OSCE on persecutions of believers in Kotyuzhyny
A meeting of representatives of the religious community of the UOC-MP in the village of Kotyuzhyny in Ternopil region led by their pastor with the representatives of the OSCE monitoring mission in Ukraine, took place on September 5 on the premises of the village council of Velyky Viknyny, Zbarazhsky district.
During the meeting, the issue of resolving the conflict that arose in the village around the church of the Protomartyr Stephen was discussed. According to Archpriest Oleksandr Kantytsky, who is the pastor of the religious community of the UOC-MP in Kotyuzhyny, “persecution of the faithful of the Ukrainian Orthodox Churches” is ongoing in the village.
According to the Information and Education Department of the UOC-MP, a meeting with representatives of the OSCE mission took place at the initiative of international observers, who “declare their desire to contribute to the restoration of peaceful interfaith relations in the rural localities”. Representatives of the mission also met with the UOC-KP community. The next meeting will be held in October - also separately with each community, and after this it is planned to hold a joint meeting of the two communities.
The first meeting in Kotyuzhyny on the transition of the UOC-MP community of Protomartyr Stephen to the Kyiv Patriarchate took place on February 12, and by the end of the month the community filed documents on re-registration of the charter. As they say in the UOC-KP community, out of 350 local residents, about 15 remained in the UOC-MP. Among them about 40 have children. In addition to the community, most members of the church committee have changed their jurisdiction, except for a priest.
Ternopil Diocese of the UOC (MP) recognized that in Kotyuzhyny most people expressed support for the UOC-KP. But treated negatively the developments.
The UOC-MP community for some time served in a church building near the temple in which a priest and a family are registered. But the priest lives in the village of Hnizdychne. The UOC-KP community appealed to the priest to withdraw his registration, but he refused. On this occasion, the community turned to the prosecutor's office and the police.
On July 27, representatives of the UOC-KP entered the church building. As a result of negotiations, in order to avoid further conflicts, the religious community of the UOC agreed to divide the house into two parts. The clergyman was allocated by the UOC-KP the room and the kitchen where he could sleep. A room for the worship service of the UOC community was also allocated.
On August 22, 2017, representatives of the UOC community claimed the robbery of the premises in which the community prayed. Now the worship of the UOC community is performed in the street.
At present, proceedings are ongoing in various courts regarding the ownership of the church in Kotyuzhyny.