Friday 29 March 2024

Ukrainian Catholic churches sealed off in Donetsk

Ukrainian Catholic churches under threat as forced closures by Russian  forces continue

At the beginning of 2024, the “Cossacks” of the so-called “DPR” sealed off all churches and adjacent territories and did not allow believers of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church to enter the churches and the territory to conduct prayers and divine services.

The appeals of believers to local authorities of the “DPR” regarding the sealing of churches and obstruction of religious activities by the “Cossacks” have not yielded any results. Greek Catholic believers are unable to access their churches or conduct services.

Prior to these events, priests who performed services in these churches were expelled from the occupied territories. Additionally, on November 16, 2022, UGCC priests from Berdiansk, Fr. Ivan Levytsky and Fr. Bohdan Geleta, were imprisoned and are still being held in captivity.

It is worth noting that on December 26, 2022, in the occupied territory of Zaporizhzhia region, the occupation authorities issued a so-called order banning the activities of the UGCC and its social service organizations in the occupied part of Zaporizhzhia region.

For context, since 2014, in Donetsk, the “DPR” militants has seized prayer facilities from a number of religious communities of different denominations.