Ukraine, April 27, 2023
In addition to the violent church seizures and illegal bans on the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church that have been declared throughout the country, many local administrations have turned to a new tactic: depriving the Church of the use of the land plots under its churches.
For example, OrthoChristian reported two weeks ago on such a decision from the Rivne City Council.
And several analogous decisions against holy Orthodoxy have been made just in the past few days.
Yesterday, the deputies of the Sumy City Council, in eastern Ukraine, voted to deprive the Church of the use of the land plots under 12 churches. And at its session yesterday, the Lutsk City Council, in northwestern Ukraine, instructed the local Department of Urban Development and Land Resources to prepare a draft on the termination of the Church’s right to use land and real estate, to be voted on at its next session.
In Chernivtsi, in southwestern Ukraine, the UOC was deprived of the right to use 22 plots of land by unanimous vote of the City Council. At the same time, lawyer Valery Dutka comments that the Council has no such authority, that such a decision can only be made by a court.
And in Bila Tserkva, in the Kiev Province, the City Council deprived the Church of the use of 10 plots and ordered the community of Holy Transfiguration Cathedral to vacate the church within 10 days. Though the Council had promised to hear the arguments of the local priests at its relevant session, they allowed only one priest to attend but didn’t allow him to speak.