Greek Catholic community of Donetsk left without church

Wednesday, 12 October 2011, 14:10
On October 3, 2011, the parish of St. Andrew the Apostle in Donetsk of the Donetsk-Kharkiv Exarchate of the UGCC was denied permission to rent a church on the territory of the former State University of Informatics and Artificial Intelligence, the press service of the exarchate reported.
On October 3, 2011, the parish of St. Andrew the Apostle in Donetsk of the Donetsk-Kharkiv Exarchate of the UGCC was denied permission to rent a church on the territory of the former State University of Informatics and Artificial Intelligence, the press service of the exarchate reported. Since February 2007 the parish of St. Andrew has rented a church space in the Laboratory of Religious Studies and Interfaith Relations – the Cossack Church of the Nativity of Christ. The church was a unique project – like the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, three Christian communities, representing this embodiment of Christ's call to unity, coexisted peacefully in the church. Over the years a strong community was formed in the church. Every day liturgies were celebrated, dozens of baptisms were held, many couples were married, and hundreds of people felt the love and grace of God. According to an order by the Cabinet of Ministers from April 2011, the State University of Informatics and Artificial Intelligence was joined to the Donetsk National Technical University (DonNTU). In September 2011 the church was closed off and the statutory activities of the religious communities that rented the church were discontinued. The community addressed a letter to the rector of DonNTU with a request to extend the lease for the parish church and allow statutory activities to continue. Unfortunately, the school administration refused, arguing that according to the legislation of Ukraine the activities of religious organizations are not allowed in universities. In addition, the parish has been denied other forms of cooperation, the ability to resolve the matter at a higher level or even to buy a building. It is surprising that the legislation of Ukraine in this area has not changed in the last several years, and the previous administration of the State University of Informatics and Artificial Intelligence was happy to allow the parish to carry out their activities at the church. In August of this year, however, a newly rebuilt church under the jurisdiction of the UOC was consecrated on the campus of Donetsk National Technical University, and the head of the parish council of this community was elected first vice rector of DonNTU. It is feared that after completely “stripping” the religious communities from the Church of Nativity in Donetsk, it will become a parish of the Moscow Patriarchate.  

Press service of the Donetsk-Kharkiv Exarchate of the UGCC

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