Explanatory memorandum by members of the religious community of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church:
“On 12.02.2015 in the local House of Culture there was a meeting of villagers where they considered a motion that the land plot occupied by the building of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church should be transferred to the Kyiv
Patriarchate whereas the community should pass into the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyiv Patriarchate (hereinafter referred to as KP). There were about 80 attendees in the House. On this very day from 14:00 to 17:00 an inquiry was made as for belonging of the church building and the land plot to either of the confessions. Voting was conducted by means of ballot cards prepared beforehand which contained the following questions: “Are you in favour of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Kyiv Patriarchate?”, “Are you in favor of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Moscow Patriarchy?” To elderly villagers came “authorized delegates” with ballot cards and boxes. Its noteworthy Mylcha church beneficiary, archpriest Oleksiy Halun, emphasized for the participants of the meeting that this inquiry was unlawful while its results aren’t legally binding.
According to the information available, part of village residents were either not informed about the polling-to-be or consciously refused to participate. In the same village archpriest Volodymyr Hlavatskyi announced that without any permission or agreement from the parish council advocates of the KP Ukrainian Orthodox Church had illegally put a metal lattice on the acolyte room’s door. 26.02.2015 congregation and clergymen were barred from taking part in the church service. The ongoing situation is controlled by village head Mishchuk Y. According to the information supplied by the villagers the community of the KP Ukrainian Orthodox Church submitted the registration documents to the regional council wherein village head Mishchuk Y. was noted as a KP community monitor. Among the documents submitted there was one to testify that the executive committee of Mylcha village council upon the request of village head Mishchuk Y. changed the juridical address Tykha 1 for Tykha 1a – the latter being actually the juridical address of the long-standing community of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. However, the community members were not informed about this change in the address. 08.03.2015 supporters of the KP Ukrainian Orthodox Church arrived at the church with their own priest and their choirmaster from the Kyiv Patriarchate broke the door locks and had a service. After that they sealed the church again.”
At the moment the representatives of the Kyiv Patriarchate, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church even prohibit the faithful to approach the building of the church. Also, there have been cases when representatives of the Kyiv Patriarchate did not allow a daughter to the grave of her father buried on the territory of the church. The head of the village council intimidates the faithful in every way, does not issue necessary certificates and other documents on the ground of religious beliefs.
On December 22, 2015, the UOC community confirmed its ownership title to the seized church. The rector of the UOC-KP said in the court room that representatives of the Kyiv Patriarchate would not return the church in vlg. Mylcha, and the UOC might go to the church in the neighbouring village.
To learn more about religious freedom infringements committed against the UOC believers you are encouraged to consult our detailed reports and statements:
- Collection of Information Materials and Documents “Facts, Evidence and Claims Regarding Violations of the Rights of Believers and Religious Organizations of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in 2014-2016”.
- Written Statement of the NGO “Public Advocacy” within the United Nations 28th Universal Periodic Review on Ukraine.
- Written Statement of the NGO “Public Advocacy” on the violations against the Ukrainian Orthodox Church within the United Nations 37-th Regular Session.
- Statement of the NGO “Public Advocacy”