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Media: Volyn Oblast Council votes to ban Moscow Patriarchate church

by The Kyiv Independent news desk April 11, 2023 5:19 PM 2 min read
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The Volyn Oblast Council banned the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate (UOC-MP) from operating in the region, Suspilne news outlet reported on April 11.

The deputies also recommended the regional administration to terminate the lease agreements with local communities of the Moscow-affiliated church, Suspilne wrote, adding that the decision was approved unanimously.

The council supported the address to the UOC-MP's faithful with a call to sever any ties with the Russian Orthodox Church.

Earlier, the regional councils of Ukraine's western Khmelnytskyi and Rivne oblasts also prohibited activities of the Moscow Patriarchate church, while their regional capitals revoked land rights to the church's places of worship.

Kamianets-Podilskyi City Council banned the church from holding services on April 4, followed by Lviv Mayor Andrii Sadovyi claiming the UOC-MP had ceased its existence in his city.

These events took place after a military officer was assaulted at the UOC-MP's place of worship in Khmelnytskyi.

Opendatabot: 63 churches have switched to Orthodox Church of Ukraine in 2023
Sixty-three churches previously linked to the Moscow Patriarchate have joined the Orthodox Church of Ukraine so far in 2023, according to info published by Opendatabot.

The Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate is not to be confused with the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, which was granted autocephaly (ecclesiastical independence) by the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Constantinople in January 2019.

Recently, Kyiv ordered the religious leaders from the Moscow Patriarchate to leave the premises of the Kyiv Pechersk Lavra, the church's stronghold.

Ukraine has long accused the Moscow Patriarchate's representatives in Ukraine of serving as the Kremlin's propaganda arm on the religious front.

ISW: Russia ‘weaponizes religion’ to discredit Ukraine, achieve military goals
Russia “continues to weaponize religion” to discredit Ukraine in the international arena and uses information operations about religion to achieve its military goals, the Institute for the Study of War wrote in its latest update.

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