More and more Ukrainian regions ban Moscow Patriarchate


Eastern Europe


Priest after an attack with green dye. Photo Facebook, Dana Mandzyuk

The Boryslav City Council has banned the Ukrainian Orthodox Church under the Moscow Patriarchate. It calls the decision historic.

The ban, which comes into force on June 1, prohibits the use of church buildings for meetings and worship services. That is reported on the official website of the municipality in Western Ukraine. Furthermore, the Orthodox Church under the Moscow Patriarchate is not allowed to use the premise for selling products. In addition, the city council of Boryslav will seize the church building.

"Ban on church is illegal"

The members of the City Council supported the motion unanimously, Interfax writes. Congregations are advised to change their subordination to the Constantinople Patriarchate.

The Russian-oriented website Pravlife informs churches that the ban on the Moscow Patriarchate has no legal basis. "Neither the local council nor the local self-government body has the rights and powers to prohibit or suspend the activities of any religious organisation", Archpriest Alexei Nosenko comments. Nosenko is the head of the legal department of the Boryspil diocese. In his opinion, parishioners of the Moscow Patriarchate are not obliged to adhere to the ban.

In the case of the forcible closure of church buildings, Nosenko advises congregations to record the event and start a legal procedure. "It is necessary to call the law enforcement officers and submit a written statement to the police on behalf of the rector of the church about the offence." The head of the legal department of the diocese stresses that "the criminals must be punished."

Earlier bans

Boryslav is not the first municipality to take this step, Orthodox Christian reports. Earlier, the mayor of Konotop, in Eastern Ukraine, banned the Church under the Moscow Patriarchate. He justified his decision by calling the Church a threat to national security. The same happened in Kagarlyk and Brovary, close to Kyiv. The Synod then called on President Zelensky to abolish the bans.

Church attacked

Ukrainian churches under the Moscow Patriarchate suffer many consequences of the Russian aggression against the country. In the Kyiv region, members of the Orthodox Church under the Patriarchate of Constantinople took matters into their own hands. They raided a church building of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church under the Moscow Patriarchate, Mospat reports. A priest, accompanied by the police, presented false documents of transfer and broke down the church's gate. Then a mob entered the church, desecrating the altar, among other things. According to Mospat, law enforcement officers used physical force against women. Furthermore, they agreed to seal the church building so that it could not be used anymore.

In addition, Volodymyr Mandzyuk, a priest of the Ukrainian Church under the Moscow Patriarchate was attacked with green paint, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church reports. On Sunday, someone threw green dye in his face during a church service. "Our fathers pray for our soldiers, for our country. We pray in the Church Slavonic language; we help as much as we can, with money and humanitarian aid, " the priest's daughter wrote on Facebook. She called people to come to their senses. "God is not abused. Each of us will answer for our deeds before God."

Voluntary transfer

Some Churches under the Moscow Patriarchate took matters into their own hands and decided to transfer to the Patriarchate of Constantinople. That happened last week with the Sumy Eparchy of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. At a general meeting, about 64.5 per cent of the present clergy voted in favour of breaking with Moscow. That is reported by the eparchy. Only 34.7 per cent of the respondents wanted to maintain the connection with Moscow.



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