Interdenominational conflict in Ptycha is artificial in nature

25 April 2018, 10:41 | Church-state relations | 0 |   | Code for Blog |  | 

The confrontation among the Orthodox community of the village of Ptycha, in Rivne region has artificial roots and can be resolved given the goodwill of both sides of the conflict, according to the members of the expert council of the Department for Religious Affairs and Nationalities of the Ministry of Culture of Ukraine, who held a two-day meeting in Rivne region. Radio Liberty has reported this.

At a meeting with clergy and law enforcement officers, it was reported that information on the conflict in the temple on April 2, which appeared on the site of the Diocese of Rivne of the UOC (MP) and circulated by the Russian media and the head of the Russian Foreign Ministry Sergey Lavrov, is distorted.

There was no power struggle with the use of weapons and people in the balaclava near the temple, Valery Samchuk, Head of the National Police Headquarters in Rivne Oblast, and Vasyl Bedriy, head of the regional department of the SBU, stated.

The collision near the Holy Dormition Church on April 2 triggered the decision of Dubensky District Court to release the premises from attachment. The injured was a believer of the UOC (MP), who used a fire extinguisher against the fellow villagers. At present, the temple is under attachment again.

The clergymen of the UOC-KP who attended the meeting consider the arrangement of the alternate Divine service to be an optimal solution to the conflict until the next meeting of community representatives. Representatives of the UOC (MP) oppose such a decision, because they consider the construction of the property only of their church.

Experts advised the clergymen and authorities to organize a poll of Orthodox believers in the village of Ptycha in the near future in case of the refusal of any of the parties from the practice of alternate use of the temple. In this case, the temple should be handed over for worship to the community where the number of believers prevails, Andriy Yurash, director of the Department for Religious Affairs and Nationalities of the Ministry of Culture of Ukraine, explained the position of the commission for Radio Liberty.

For three and a half years in Ptycha, the struggle for the temple between the Orthodox communities of the Kyiv and Moscow Patriarchate has evolved.

The experts noted that the issue of the use of the temple can be resolved only within the legislative framework, based on the law on freedom of conscience and religious organizations. The Commission asks the executive and the judiciary to categorically abandon the practice of ignoring the provisions of the said law when dealing with the use of temples in all disputed cases.

In 1991, the historic building was handed over to the religious community by the leadership of the regional council. The UOC-MP won the dispute over the premises of the Holy Dormition Church in Ptycha, as the charter of a religious community states that in the event of the community being liquidated, the church's building remains with the diocese. People say they did not know about this paragraph of the charter.

The courts, which are now adopting a decision in favor of the UOC-MP community, are guided precisely by this circumstances of privatization. However, in 2014, most of the faithful moved under the omophorion of the UOC-KP Patriarchate. This fact was confirmed by a referendum initiated in the village of Ptycha in 2014by the UOC (MP). At the same time, Ukrainian legislation does not provide for such a poll for the similar issues.

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