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Zakarpattia: parishioners of the canonical Church …

Zakarpattia: parishioners of the canonical Church have to worship outdoors in winter

Even a cold weather that has recently set in did not prevent the Ukrainian Orthodox Church’s
community at the Delovoye village (Zakarpatska Oblast, Ukraine), who have been deprived of their
church because of the raiding of schismatics. On February 15, 2021, the feast of the Meeting of Our
Lord, a great number of parishioners worshiped during the Divine Liturgy next to a tiny chapel that
has become now a place for the community’s worship.

The service was streamed live by Archimandrite Benedict (Khromey) on his page on Facebook.
It was reported in 2019 that the re-registration of the canonical Church’s community at the Delovoye
village to an ‘OCU’ schismatic structure with the help of public agents who had swindled out the
statute documents from the priest. However, at that moment, the actual capture of the church by
schismatics failed as parishioners succeeded in defending the church of the Dormition from raiders.
There are few proponents of the ‘OCU’ in the Zakarpattian village while the community of the
canonical Church is large in number. During the raiding attacks several hundreds of the faithful came
out to defend their church.

At present, judicial processes are going on in which the Orthodox community contests the actions of
the authorities by pointing out that the re-registration of the church building took place on the basis
of actually stolen documents.

However, one of the court decisions in favor of raiders from the ‘OCU’ has come into force. And
despite an appeal filed after the ‘OCU’ representatives resorted to the executive service on February
3, 2021, the church of the Dormition was blocked by OMON (Special Purpose Police Unit) and later
representatives of the schismatic structure were allowed to enter the building. The following day, the
schismatic ‘service’ at the captured church was attended only by some 20 people, while the large
community of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, deprived of their church, had to assemble for worship
in the open despite the February cold.

The community will continue using legal methods to defend their church while considering a
possibility for building a new church of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church - the decision to give a plot
of land for such construction has been made by one of the women parishioners.

DECR Communication Service
With reference to materials of
Union of Orthodox Journalists and
Pravoslavnaya Zhizn’ website
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