Orthodox Church of Ukraine fears for property and priests in Donetsk

The Metropolitan Epifaniy of Kyiv and All Ukraine, the primate of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine or OCU is concerned about the total prohibition of OCU community activities and the deportation of priests from the territory of the Donetsk region that is not controlled by Ukraine. 

“From March 1, 2019, there will be a threat of total prohibition of activities of the communities and clergy of our Church, full confiscation of communities' property and deportation from the territory controlled by the so-called DPR. The reason for this is the illegal requirement that all communities should register under the Republic's law.’ Such a requirement cannot be implemented because no one recognizes the structure that adopted such a ‘law,’” the primate stated on the Church’s website. 

According to him, from March 2, thirty-six churches and premises and the Diocesan House of Mercy could be seized by the DPR, and the priests could be sent away to Ukraine-controlled territory. 

“Given this threat, we call on the United Nations, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the countries of the Minsk group, the European Union and, in general, all democratic countries, international and interreligious institutions, asking to influence those responsible for the final decision in the given issue and to take measures [to prevent this] catastrophic scenario,” the OCU primate stressed.

  Ukraine, Orthodox Church, Epifaniy, DPR, Donetsk