Metropolitan announced the seizure in Ukraine of more than 50 temples of the UOC in four years

© Photo : courtesy the community of the Church in the village Precauzioni temple in the village of Bird Rivne district. Archive photoMetropolitan announced the seizure in Ukraine of more than 50 temples of the UOC in four years© Photo : courtesy the community of the Church in the village of Bird

More than 50 churches of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate were captured starting in 2014, said managing the Affairs of the UOC-MP, Metropolitan Antonii of Boryspil and Brovary.

Earlier monitoring mission by the UN human rights in Ukraine published a report showing that in may-August was carried out six attacks on the temples of the canonical UOC, the criminal cases initiated only on the two of them. UOC has repeatedly reported on cases of harassment of priests and seizures of Orthodox churches.

«More than fifty (temples captured — ed.) across the territory of Ukraine in 2014 to this day,» said Anthony in an interview «Strenia» published on Wednesday.

He noted that churches often capture people in balaclavas, members of the radical nationalist movements. «But if you can see who among these invaders in robes, and who then passed these temples so it is the supporters of the «Kiev Patriarchate,» said Anthony.

The President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko is trying to achieve recognition of non-canonical religious structures and of establishing a local Autocephalous Church in Ukraine. Earlier, the Patriarchate of Constantinople «in preparation for the granting of autocephaly» was appointed its Exarch in Kyiv. In addition, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew has stated that it intends to provide Ukraine Autocephalous. In the UOC called such actions by invading the canonical territory of other local churches and called on Patriarch Bartholomew to stop meddling and «exarchs» of the Patriarchate of Constantinople to leave Kiev.

Previously Poroshenko promised to respect the rights of believers of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, after receiving the non-canonical religious structures of autocephaly.Metropolitan announced the seizure in Ukraine of more than 50 temples of the UOC in four years© RIA Novosti / Vitaly Policypro Autocephalous

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