Moscow church in Ukraine claims abuse by officials


RIA Novosti, 16 March 2019


Adherents of the "new church" blockaded believers in the Transfiguration of the Savior church building of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UPTs) in the village of Luka-Meleshkovskaia of Vinnytsia oblast, the Department of Information and Enlightenment of the UPTs reports.


"The divine liturgy in the Transfiguration of the Savior church of the village of Luka-Meleshkovskaia was supposed to start at 8:30 (9:30 Moscow time), but yesterday evening supporters of the PTsU poured tar into the locks on the door of the church building. Believers of the village, fearing that the liturgy would be interrupted, broke off the locks and after entering spent the whole night there. In the morning, hostile activists locked the believers inside the church and blockaded the entry in order to prevent conducting the liturgy," the report says.


According to information from the canonical church, the confrontation lasted more than four hours and they succeeded in defending the building. Archbishop Varsonofei, along with hundreds of believers of the village, performed the liturgy.


In connection with the recognition of the Ukrainian schismatics by the patriarchate of Constantinople, pressure on the canonical church in Ukraine has intensified substantially. The UPTs reports overt discrimination and persecutions on the part of authorities, members of nationalistic groupings, and schismatic structures, and also an information campaign against it in Ukrainian news media.


Seizures of the buildings of the canonical church, persecution of clergymen, and takeover of lands where UPTs monasteries are located—this is the way the Ukrainian authorities fulfill their promise about "an exclusively peaceful and voluntary transfer of parishes by a procedure clearly defined by law." (tr. by PDS, posted 16 March 2019)



RIA Novisti, 16 March 2019


Sister Dimitriia Pasevich, of the Holy Protection monastery of the village of Olkha filed a claim in the police department in Zhitomir oblast about physical injuries done to her by a proponent of the "new church" during a hostile takeover of the church of the Nativity of the Most Holy Mother of God, the UPTs Department of Information and Enlightenment reports.


According to UPTs information, on 10 March at 14:00 (15:00 Moscow time) hundreds of activists attacked the church building of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UPTs) in the village of Baranovka of Zhitomir oblast. The attack on the building began with a so-called "assembly," which was organized in the central square of the village by a deputy of the Baranovks city council, Oleg Kovalsky, a representative of the Radical Party of Oleg Liashko. He urged the radicals to deal with the UPTs church building and to decide what kind of church should be in Baranovka: a "Russian" or a "Ukrainian" one. The believers of the village succeeded in defending their church building.


"The nun Dimitriia, from the Holy Protection monastery of the village of Olkha, filed in the Novograd-Volynskoe department of the national police in Zhitomir oblast a claim about physical injuries caused her during the hostile takeover of the church building of the Nativity of the Most Holy Mother of God in Baranovka; the claim was taken by the senior investigator Vladimir Blindiuk," the UPTs reports.


The nun said that after the conduct of a prayer service, all persons who were in the church began to be driven from the building and from the territory altogether. When the crowd of "new church" activists attacked the schearchimandrite Amfilokhy and several of them began ripping the staff from the clergyman's hands and biting his fingers, the nun tried to protect her spiritual director. The nun added that in response Kovalsky struck her on the shoulder and chest and then about her face, after which he threw her to the ground and beat her with his feet.


The UPTs noted that during the attack of the raiders, very many clergy and laity of the canonical church were injured. Archpriest Orest Semotiuk was forced to go to the hospital after he was punched in the stomach; his pancreas was injured. [. . .] (tr. by PDS, posted 16 March 2019)

Russia Religion News Current News Items

Editorial disclaimer: RRN does not intend to certify the accuracy of information presented in articles. RRN simply intends to certify the accuracy of the English translation of the contents of the articles as they appeared in news media of countries of the former USSR.

If material is quoted, please give credit to the publication from which it came. It is not necessary to credit this Web page. If material is transmitted electronically, please include reference to the URL,