Police in Zhytomyr region conduct searches in eight buildings of several eparchies of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate), Police in Zhytomyr region reports on December 3.
“Some eight searches are being conducted within the framework of the investigation of criminal proceedings under Article 161 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine,” police press service reported.
Police added that the local office of Ukraine's Security Service also participated.
“Searches are conducted within the framework of the investigation of criminal proceedings under Article 161 (violation of equality of citizens depending on their racial, nationality, religious beliefs, disability and other grounds) of Ukraine's Criminal Code in Zhytomyr, Korosten, Ovruch and Kyiv,” the police said.
The searches are being conducted within the framework of an investigation involving Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra archpriest Pavlo.
As we reported earlier, Ukraine’s Security Service conducted searches at the place of residence of Pavlo, the archpriest of Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra within the probe of stirring up religious hatred, which is a subject to Criminal Code of Ukraine on November 3.
The Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Kyiv Patriarchate struggled for the autocephaly since the country gained independence in 1991. For his firm stance in this regard, Patriarch Filaret, the current leader of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Kyiv Patriarchate was stripped of his orders in 1992, as the Russian Orthodox Church imposed the anathema on him. Most recently, the Ecumenical Patriarchate lifted it from him. This decision, and the subsequent decision to grant Ukraine Tomos outraged the Russian Orthodox Church, which already promised 'a tough and decisive response.'
On Thursday, November 29, the Synodus of Ecumenical Patriarchate released a communique about the preliminary draft project of the statute of the future Ukrainian Church.