At the end of May 2015, the head of the village council of Riasnyky village, Rivne village initiated a meeting of the village, and with the help of radically-minded people tried to seize the church, motivating their actions with an alleged fact that on the territory of vlg. Riasnyky a new religious community of the Kyiv Patriarchate was registered, so it must acquire all the assets of the UOC community. In March 2015, the head of the village council tried to call for a vote on the transition of the UOC community under the «jurisdiction» of the UOC-KP, but the attempt was disrupted by members of the UOC religious community of vlg. Riasnyky, as most of the faithful did not want to transfer to another religious community without their consent. Then the head of the village council publicly promised not to prevent the UOC community in holding worship services but did not keep his word: on 24 May 2015, he again tried to take an unlawful vote.
On 04.08.2015, the head of Riasnyky village council overturned the decision which earlier granted the UOC community permission to issue land use documentation for the plot under the church. In October, the court found the actions illegal.
At the end of August 2015, the deputy of the Rivne Regional State Administration – Alexander Savchuk – forced the religious community of the UOC to the transfer of the church to the Kyiv Patriarchate, exerting pressure on the UOC believers.
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”