The Ovruch district authorities prevent believers of the UOC from joining the Cross Procession in the capital, banning the route to Kiev on July 27, reports the Information and Educational Department of the UOC with reference to Protopriest Oleg Dominsky, the acting dean of the Narodichi deanery of the Ovruch eparchy.
“Yesterday and the day before yesterday, we wanted to clarify whether everything would be fine, we all were refused massively – all auto carriers, all those who have their vehicle fleets, all owners of minibuses,” the Information and Educational department cites Fr. Oleg’s comments. “Various reasons are given, but informally they say that they were banned by the special services to provide transit to Kiev on 27 July.”
The priest noted that thus the authorities are trying to artificially decrease the number of believers of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church vs. supporters of the UOC KP.
“On the 28th, administrations are instructed – to organize buses, compulsorily collect money from entrepreneurs, all officials will mandatory be put on buses and taken to Filaret,” said Protopriest Oleg Dominsky. “All this is done to show later on television that more Ukrainians allegedly support the “Kiev Patriarchate”.
Earlier, on July 28 website, Archbishop Eulogiy (Gutchenko) of Sumy and Akhtyrka on his Facebook page reported on the use of the administrative resource for collecting people for events planned by the UOC-KP in Kiev on the Day of the Baptism of Rus, while users in their comments to his message said that in other cities of Ukraine the same thing is happening.
Metropolitan Luke (Kovalenko) of Zaporozhye and Melitopol said that civil servants force believers to attend the events of the Kiev Patriarchate, which will be held in the capital on the Day of the Baptism of Rus. Alexander Yermolenko, an expert on religion in Ukraine, commented on this information, saying that the administrative resource is involved throughout Ukraine, because the authorities are faced with the task of “ensuring the numerical strength of the procession of UOC KP supporters.”