Despite the seizure of churches, the number of parishes of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church is not significantly reduced. However, state and church statistics have significant differences. Why it turns out this way was explained by Metropolitan Anthony of Boryspil and Brovary, the manager of the affairs of the UOC, at a press conference in the Holy Dormition Kiev-Pechersk Lavra on March 15, 2023, Pravlife writes.
“After the formation of the so-called OCU, the impotence of the architects of the new confession leads to the fact that they are simply engaged in raiding. And in recent years, it’s just terrible – the seizure of temples occurs throughout the country, especially in the western regions. Since February 24, 2022 alone, we have recorded more than 300 attempts and about 130 forceful seizures of church buildings. After each of these illegal actions, we go to court, but face either a refusal, or a delay in the case, or disputes over which court should consider it. That is, everything is being done so as not to give this issue to the legal plane, to the plane of legality, justice, ”said Metropolitan Anthony.
“But, despite the seizure of churches, our parishes are not getting smaller. According to statistics presented by the State Service of Ukraine for Ethnopolitics and Freedom of Conscience on October 20 last year, there are more than 9,000 parishes in the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. But these are incomplete statistics, because there are parishes that function, they have priests, but there is no state registration. There are also parishes that are not included in the Unified State Register of Legal Entities. Through no fault of ours, they were also not included in the statistics of the State Ethnic Policy,” Metropolitan Anthony explained.
“Therefore, I want to draw attention to the statistics of the Kyiv Metropolis. At the end of each year, we sum up the results, and in December 2022, we had 12,148 parishes and more than 12,500 clergy. That is, all the attempts that the raiders make do not affect the real state of the parishes of the UOC. After all, with the capture of the temple, people do not go to the OCU. They pray in houses, garages, apartments and remain faithful to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, faithful to the Church of Christ,” Metropolitan Anthony said.
“People at the genetic level feel where the truth is, where the truth is, where the grace of God is. And so I hope, I know that the Lord will not leave His Church. And our churches, our parishes will live, and we will create our history,” concluded the head of the UOC.
Бог нам всем в помощь!