UOC-KP and UOC-MP Orthodox Dispute Poltava Church
05.03.2007, [11:25] // Conflict // RISU.org.ua
Poltava – On 2 March 2007 at 8:00 a.m., the police in central Ukrainian Poltava were called to St. Nicholas’ Church to prevent open conflict between the communities of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Kyivan Patriarchate (UOC-KP) and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Moscow Patriarchate (UOC-MP), which both claim the church building.
The conflict arose on 1 March, when representatives of the UOC-KP attempted to enter the building to conduct a Liturgy. They said that their actions were governed by a court decision according to which the church building should be transferred to their community. However, supporters of the UOC-MP blocked their way into the building. The police managed to prevent a clash. Nevertheless, the conflict revived with new force on 2 March.
The faithful of the UOC-KP managed to get inside the church building, where they celebrated a Liturgy. Tents were put up near the church, where representatives of both communities stayed the whole night
The conflict over St. Nicholas’ Church has lasted a few years. The courts make conflicting decisions and the faithful periodically try to take control of the church building.