Priest of UOC won an appeal against the church seizure
September 23, 2017. The rector of the Holy Protection Church of the UOC in the village of Gribovitsa of the Ivanichi district, the Volyn region, Protopriest Igor Margita won an appeal against the chairman of the Gribovitsa village council Pavel Stepanets, who was one of the initiators of the Orthodox church grab by the Kyiv Patriarchate.
The priest filed a lawsuit in the case of Stepanets’ abuse of authority: the representative of the local authorities refused to provide Protopriest Igor with the information he needed.
In the first instance, the case was closed, as the period for recovery was exhausted during the trial. On September 20, 2017, by the decision of the Volyn Court of Appeal, Igor Margita’s claim was partially satisfied: Pavel Stepanets was recognized as a violator, but the court did not impose a fine on him, justifying it by the fact that the statutory period has expired.
In Gribovitsa, there was a two-year confrontation between the community of the UOC and the local village council, whose head actually led the seizure of the Orthodox church by the Kyiv Patriarchate. The priest of the UOC faced persecution and attempts of administrative pressure, which became senseless after the opening of a new temple of the canonical Church in the village.
The secretariat of the Verkhovna Rada authorized representative for human rights joined the conflict resolution. On October 12, 2016, the ombudsman responded to Protopriest Igor Magrita’s complaint that there are grounds in Stepanets’ actions for bringing him to administrative responsibility.