16 May 2011, 15:28
Ukrainian Orthodox Church disagrees with removal of tent church at Verkhovnaya Rada
*** If the authorities want to knock something down, they wouldn't hesitate to find even a tiger there
Kiev/Moscow, May 16, Interfax - The Ukrainian Orthodox Church thinks the pretext for knocking down the tent church at the Verkhovnaya Rada of Ukraine to be far-fetched.
Earlier on Monday the authorities stated that unsanitary conditions became the reason for removing this and other tents in the city center, in particular, they had allegedly found a plague of rats under the tent.
"How did the rats get there? Did they run away from the Verkhovnaya Rada? I haven't seen a single rat there, but if the authorities want to knock something down, they wouldn't hesitate to find even a tiger there," Vasily Anisimov, head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church press service, told Interfax-Religion.
The tent church was put up in the park at the Verkhovnaya Rada in August of 2005. Its senior priest Archpriest Oleg Sirko used this method to seek justice in the capital when his church in the village of Rokhmaniv, the Ternopol Region, had been occupied by the Kiev Patriarchate union assailants. Members of the all-Ukrainian union Svoboda (Freedom) which organized the attack on veterans in Lvov on May 9 took an active part in the seizure.
Eventually, the Moscow Patriarchate community managed to defend its rights for the above mentioned village church, however, it is still seized by local nationalists.
According to Anisimov, "believers would voluntarily remove the tents, if the Ukrainian authorities performed the court decision to return the village church and President acted upon the special address of the Verkhovnaya Rada on the same matter signed by almost two hundred deputies, including the Party of Regions faction."
Anisimov believes the destroyed tent church was "a burr under the saddle of the Verkhovnaya Rada; all visitors kept asking them what was going on there!"