Unjustified claim with the police, in attempt to take away children from Orthodox priest and demolish Orthodox church
April 24, 2017 – Human rights activist Oleg Denisov has called to rally support for a priest of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate) (UOC-MP), who is being pursued by the Kiev Patriarchate for having a church in a tent.
Members of the Kiev Patriarchate are accusing him of having “pro-Moscow” views and other “sins”. They have filed complaints to various law enforcement agencies. The priest has been ordered to dismantle his church. Furthermore, the local village council is refusing to accept their previous decision of transferring legal ownership of a piece of land bought by him.
But this was not enough for these individuals. The complaints have led to a Children’s Rights organization to visit him and to oblige him to “show his children”. In the event that he refused, the organization told him that his children could be taken away from him.
The family has five children, one of whom is handicapped. The priest’s family is poor and lives in a house that is in a sorry state.
The priest refused to allow the Children’s service to enter his house. He was worried that his children could be taken away without any proof, as with some previous cases. Lawsuits can then take years to be resolved, and children are kept in unsanitary and unhealthy conditions in children’s homes in the meantime. It was out of this reasoning that the priest has refused for them to enter. And this is now causing a risk of them being removed.
The sorry state of the priest’s house could result in continued harassment from various organizations in Ukraine, and in the background of the current interreligious conflict, there is a number of potential individuals ready to bear false witness.
The Human Rights activist is calling for people to donate funds to help pay for the rent and the building of a new home for the priest and his family.
Photo documents from the UOJ