On Tuesday, April 4, deputies of the Khmelnytsky City Council revoked the right of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate (UOC-MP) to use a land plot on the territory of the Pokrovsky Cathedral, Suspilne news reported.


At an extraordinary session of the Khmelnytsky City Council, deputies terminated the right of any organization belonging to the UOC-MP to use land plots on the territory of the Holy Intercession Cathedral. “The decision was unanimously adopted by 38 deputies present,” according to the report.


In addition, the local news outlet vsim.ua reported that the city council has also terminated the right to permanent use of land plots for 11 other UOC-MP-affiliated religious organizations. According to Oleksandr Simchyshyn, the mayor of Khmelnytsky, they may later be transferred to the Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU), which is subordinate to Constantinople rather than Moscow, and the right to use the land will be transferred to new religious communities.



On April 3, the mayor of Khmelnytsky said in an interview with Kanal 24 that the cathedral is currently under police control and sealed off. Simchyshyn emphasized that the community in Khmelnytsky has clearly defined its position that it owns the Pokrovsky Cathedral, along with all churches and land plots where they are situated.


On Sunday, April 2, more than 3,000 people gathered near the church grounds, and upwards of 1,500 people signed a decision to withdraw the cathedral from the UOC-MP and transition to the UOC.

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Simchyshyn warned at the extraordinary city council session that the right to permanent use of all land plots on which any religious buildings of the UOC-MP stand could be terminated.


The mayor also mentioned that there are already three decisions on the termination of the right to permanent use of land plots belonging to the UOC-MP, and parks are planned for two areas.


On Sunday, an Armed Forces of Ukrainian soldier in uniform was assaulted by a priest of the UOC-MP. Later in the day, locals gathered around the church to protest the incident, and the priests were obliged to leave the premises.



Protesters gathered near the church, chanting “Moscow priests go away” and “Glory to the Heroes,” and calling for parishioners to join the independent OCU instead of supporting the Moscow Patriarchate.

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