Voting with their feet: Yevstratii (Zorya) explains how the Moscow Patriarchate loses control over Ukrainians
This year about fifty parishes of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate) moved to the UOC - Kyiv Patriarchate. Archbishop Yevstratii (Zorya), chairman of the Information Department told it in a comment to Obozrevatel.
When asked how many parishes of the UOC (MP) became the parishes of the UOC-KP, he said: “We do not have such statistics, but I can mention some fifty parishes as legal entities.”
At the same time the Archbishop stressed that this figure reflects only the “iceberg tip,” as most of believers prefer “voting with their feet”.
"The vast majority of believers voted “with their feet”. This happens in towns and villages where there are several churches - people just stop going to the churches of the Moscow Patriarchate and attend to the churches of the Kyiv Patriarchate.”
“I know at least a number of people who used to attend the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra and now no longer do so because the UOC of the Moscow Patriarchate has taken exactly the position it has taken,” he said.
At the same time, formal transitions occur only where the community has only one church. Then “the issue of its ownership arises,” UOC-KP spokesman said.
Obozrevatel also asked how easy these transitions occur.
“It is very difficult. As in each case, the Moscow Patriarchate Church is doing everything to retain the property. They are not so concerned about people's attitudes towards them. The main thing is to keep their property,” the archbishop said.