The forceful seizure of the Metropolitan Chambers possessed by the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in the Ivano-Frankivsk region
September 28, 2018 – Representatives of the local authority of Bohorodchany district of the Ivano-Frankivsk region with the aid of activists of the Right Sector led by its head, Mark Belchak, seized the Metropolitan Chambers possessed by the local Holy-Trinity parish of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. The Chambers are located besides the Holy-Trinity temple. As the press service of the Ivano-Frankivsk eparchy reports, around 30 people, without presenting any official documents, broke the doors, shattered windows, beat believers, including the rector of the church Father Vladimir Shuvar; moreover, one of the invaders also broke into the premises of the church. The latter actions preceded the decision of the local authority to transfer the right of possession of the Chambers to a nearby music school.
The Information and Education Department of the UOC echoed the fact of Right Sector’s involvement in the seizure and, in addition, provided video material. In this video, some invaders were accusing the believers of not going to the “right church”. Furthermore, the Department added that the parishioners had evaluated situation around the church as tentative: some unknown young men were still present on the territory of the Holy-Trinity church.
The police arrived promptly after the incident. They documented the injuries suffered by the defenders and established the reason of the conflict: “a transfer of the property complex of the architectural monument, the Metropolitan Chambers of the Dominican Monastery, on Shevchenko street by the commission of Bohorodchany regional Council and Administration with which the representative of the UOC of Moscow Patriarchate disagreed and called the police”. The Communication Department of the police specified further that other possible reasons of the conflict, including interfaith, had not yet confirmed, evaluated the actions of invaders as legal, and did not confirm nor denied the presence of the Right Sector’s members.
The Ivano-Frankivsk eparchy of the UOC published a statement urging representatives of the authority and political organizations not to employ aggression and physical force against the UOC and insisting to solve all possible disputes exclusively in legal domain.
Photo and video documents from Ivano-Frankivsk Diocese