The priests of the Chernovtsy eparchy appealed to the local authorities with an open letter, in which they demanded to stop the persecution of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate) clerics.

January 14, 2019 – The authorities exert pressure on the clergymen of the Gertsa deanery (Chernovtsy eparchy), inducing them to agitate for the Orthodox Church Ukraine1. That is said in a statement addressed to the head of the Gertsa District State Administration from Archpriest Longin, vicar of the Holy Ascension Monastery of Bancheny, and Archpriest Pavel Dumitru, dean of the Gertsa deanery, as well as a number of other representatives of the clergy of the Gertsa deanery, Ukranian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate)2 . The text of the letter has been made available to the Union of Orthodox Journalists.

We as citizens of our state of Ukraine want to report that from the side of state authorities criminal prosecutions and repressions of clergymen are being carried out and pressure is being exerted on the UOC clergy and faithful children of the Gertsa deanery,” the document says.

The letter says that priests are forced to walk around the village and agitate people to join the OCU.

“Pressure is being exerted on the chairmen of the village councils … the clergy are threatened with reprisals: if they do not appear for interrogations, they will be brought by force. We want to ask our government why the law of Ukraine is violated. As far as we all know, the Church is separated from the state, such a norm is enshrined in Article 35 of the Constitution <…>,” noted the Chernovtsy Diocese officials.

The document:

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Sources:

  1. Union of Orthodox Journalists – Сlergy of the Chernovtsy eparchy report pressure from authorities

 

Related Incidents:

Jan. 12, 2019 –  Commentary of Archbishop Feodosiy, Chairman of the Church Court of the Kiev Diocese (Orthodox Church – Moscow Patriarchate), about the State interference into Church Affairs.

Jan. 2, 2019 –  The Chairman of the All-Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations (AUCCRO), Chief Rabbi of Ukraine believes that with the adoption of Law No. 5309, no religion in Ukraine can feel protected from state interference.
Dec. 28, 2018 –  Mayor Michel Tereshchenko interferes into the internal Church relations

  1. Orthodox Church of Ukraine is a religious organization that was formed with an aid of the Presidential Administration of Ukraine and with non-canonical actions of the Constantinople Patriarchate at the end of 2018. So far, none of the canonical Orthodox Churches has recognised this organization as an Orthodox Church.
  2. The Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate) is an autonomous Orthodox Church with the headquarter in Kiev, Ukraine. It is spiritually and canonically linked with the Russian Orthodox Church.
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