CRIMEAN AUTHORITIES INTEND TO NATIONALIZE THE UKRAINIAN CHURCHES ON THE PENINSULA
The authorities of Crimea are elaborating the legal framework for the property and the buildings owned by the Ukrainian religious organizations, reports Krym Media with reference to Alexander Selevko, Head of the “Department for Religions Affairs and Affairs of National and Cultural Associations” of the “Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Crimea”.
In particular, he proposed to decide on the nationalization of these assets. “We have conflicting interests here. Ukrainian organizations do not want to leave Crimea and are not going to surrender their property on voluntary basis”, noted the official of the “Ministry”.
The Synod of the Lutheran Evangelic Church with its leadership based in Odessa was cited by him as an example. The Synod has three temples in Crimea.
“The community is here but their property is officially owned by the organization which has become a foreign one”, said Selevko.
Sometime earlier he stated that almost half of the temple buildings in Crimea may be qualified as “illegally erected” because of having no construction permits. Moreover, as resolved by the Russian authorities, prior to being re-registered, the religions organizations that do not fall under the definition of the “traditional religious confessions” will have their charters examined by experts from the Russian Ministry of Justice.
In late February and early March of 2014 the Crimean Peninsula was invaded by the troops without signs of attribution to any national military force. These troops were relocated from Russia and from the stations of the RF-controlled Black Sea Fleet.
On 16 March 2014 the so-called “referendum” on the status of the peninsula was held. Based on its outcome, Crimea was incorporated into Russia. The referendum was considered illegitimate by Ukraine, the EC and the US that referred to the annexation of Crimea by Russia.
Economic sanctions were introduced by the US and the EC after the annexation. The West still insists that Crimea is a part of Ukraine.