Kiev, October 17, 2023
More than 350 religious communities of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church were re-registered to the schismatic “Orthodox Church of Ukraine” between January 1 and October first this year.
Having requested the relevant information, Andrei Smirnov, Doctor of Historical Sciences at the National University of Ostrog Academy, was informed by the State Service for Ethnopolitics and Freedom of Conscience that 367 parishes had been re-registered, reports the Information-Education Department of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
Recall that the schismatic OCU enjoys the support of the Patriarchates of Constantinople and Alexandria and the Churches of Cyprus and Greece. The remaining Local Churches have not recogized it, however.
As Prof. Smirnov explained, the 367 parishes are those where not only was a meeting held on the transition out of the Church and into the OCU, but where they were actually re-registered with the state bodies.
At the same time, it is well known that the majority of these “transitions” were against the will of the actual clergy and parishioners (fake meetings are often held where people who have no relation to the parish vote to leave the canonical Church) and many were accompanied by the violent physical seizure of the church building. The Information-Education Department notes that numerous complaints have been filed with the police about attempts to illegally re-register parish statutes and seize church buildings.