Ukraine: OSCE Mission Observers study the religious situation in Vinnytsia

Representatives of the OSCE Mission meet on February 2 with clergymen of various denominations of Vinnytsia region, as well as with local authorities, to monitor the religious situation in the region, Religion in Ukraine has reported, citing the websites of the UOC-KP and the UOC-MP. On February 1, on the premises of the Center for National Cultures of Vinnytsia, the secretary of the UOC-KP Diocese of Vinnytsia Archpriest Igor Sirianchuk met with representatives of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission, Dejan Georgievski and Bojescu Marian.

The OSCE Mission Observers' visit to Vinnytsia was intended to familiarize them with the state of the inter-religious and international situation in the region, the methods and forms of cooperation between public authorities and religious organizations and national communities. According to Dejan Georgievski, the OSCE representatives constantly monitor media outlets, from which it has been found that, as compared to other regions, Vinnytsia region has developed one of the highest levels of tolerance.

During the conversation, Fr Igor Siranchuk told Dejan Georgievski about the relations of Vinnytsia Diocese with the authorities, both at the regional level and at the local level, and also briefed on the quantitative composition of the religious communities of the UOC-KP in Vinnytsia region. The conversation was about inter-confessional relations and the resolution of various issues at the level of the Vinnytsia Regional Council of Churches and religious organizations.

The same day, Igor Saletskyy, Head of the Department for Nationalities and Religions of the Regional State Administration, met with representatives of the OSCE Mission. Members of the Monitoring Mission have reported that their activities are aimed at monitoring the situation in the state. They are working within the entire territory of Ukraine. The office of the focus group that arrived to Vinnytsia region is located in Chernivtsi.

Besides, on February 1, Metropolitan Symeon of Vinnitsa and Bary met with representatives of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission in Ukraine in the administrative office of the UOC-MP Diocese of Vinnytsia. The conversation was attended by the secretary of the Vinnytsia diocesan administration protodeacon Vladislav Demchenko. The discussion was focused on the state of inter-confessional relations in Vinnytsia region, as well as the activities of the clergy and faithful of the Vinnytsia diocese in the provision of humanitarian assistance to servicemen of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and social institutions on the territory of combat operations in Donbas.

Earlier, on January 26, with the blessing of Metropolitan Agafangel of Odessa and Izmail, a the Mission Observers were received in the Odessa diocesan administration of the UOC (MP). The delegation, consisting of Eve Gmelin, Aram Harutyunyan and the accompanying persons, was received by the secretary of the Diocese of Odessa, Archpriest Yevgeny Gyutyar.

On January 12, in the office of the diocesan administration of the UOC-MP, Metropolitan Luka of Zaporizhia and Melitopol also met with representatives of the OSCE Dnieper Office. He informed the guests about the situation in the Zaporizhzhya region as a result of the conflict, when the priests of his diocese refused to perform a funeral service for the deceased child that was baptized in the UOC-KP. (Quelle:, 2. Februar 2018)