Repeated violent confrontations among Ukrainian Orthodox


Ukrainian Orthodox Church, 12 January 2016


During the course of several days of the afterfeast of the Nativity of Christ, adherents of the UPTsKP attacked a procession of the cross of believers of the UPTs, threatened priests, and disrupted for the fifth time the Sunday liturgy.


On 9 January in the village of Ptichia of Dubna district of Rovno province, representatives of the Kiev patriarchate beat up their fellow villagers during a procession of the cross which was conducted by believers of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church after the holiday worship service. This was reported by the Information Department of the UPTs by press secretary of the Rovno diocese, Hegumen German.


One of the women was taken by ambulance to the hospital with a concussion and substantial physical injuries, the diocese reports.


At the time when believers of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church were conducting a procession of the cross with a prayer for peace in Ukraine, representatives of the so-called UPTsKP attacked them. "Supporters of the Kiev patriarchate came out with pitchforks and did not allow the procession to pass," the press secretary of the diocese explained. "Then a fight broke out and one of the women was beaten." According to the priest, Irina Gorchuka was beaten by her neighbor. She is now in the provincial clinical hospital. Eyewitnesses maintain that the beating was committed not only by village women but also by men, and all of this in front of the woman's small son.


Ekaterina Ivaniuk, a lawyer of the Rovno diocese, reports that a criminal proceeding has been started regarding this affair.


As the victim herself described, representatives of the Kiev patriarchate, with threats and shouts, hindered her getting into the ambulance and then they blocked the path of the vehicle.


The house of the guard of the church in Ptichia, Archpriest Ioann Savchuk, was pelted with stones.


Having no grounds for service in the Dormition church in Ptichia and failing in attempts at a forcible seizure of the church structure, supporters of the self-proclaimed UPTsKP have resorted to intimidation of priests of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.


In the village of Podluzhe of Dubna district of Rovno province, unidentified persons threw stones at the house of Archpriest Ioann Savchuk, who is a native of Ptichia, the Information Department of the UPTs reported, with a reference to the Union of Orthodox Journalists.


Noting that the barbarian action is a threat, Father Ioann emphasized: "Supporters of the UPTsKP are very angry because we defend the Orthodox church buildings."


On the next day, schismatics once again disrupted the Sunday Divine Liturgy of the parish of the church of St. Anne in the village of Ugly of Ternopol province. The anger of believers of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church was provoked by the aggressive supporters of the UPTsKP who five times now have prevented parishioners from praying in their own church.


We recall that despite the lack of any documents for the church in the village of Ugly, schismatics have put pressure on believers, threatening violence. Police personnel basically observe passively the provocations on the part of the UPTsKP. However, three criminal initiatives have already been opened against the schismatics for obstruction of worship services and inflaming religious strife. (tr. by PDS, posted 13 January 2016)

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