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In the Ukrainian village of Ozero the fa…

In the Ukrainian village of Ozero the faithful were ‘transferred’ to a schismatic group while they prayed in church

Communications Service of the DECR, 11.05.2022. 

New information is coming in on the seizures and forced ‘transfers’ into the schismatic group of the so-called ‘Orthodox Church of Ukraine’ of church buildings of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate. The basic scenario in play goes thus: there is an assembly not of the religious community of the church, but of the people of the village or of activists. The decision taken by this gathering of people is used as an excuse to ‘transfer’ the community to the schismatic structure of the ‘Orthodox Church of Ukraine’ and confiscate the church building belonging to the parish.

In particular, in the village of Ozero in the Lutsk region of the Volhynia governate in Ukraine, the supporters of the ‘OCU’ voted for the ‘transfer’ of the church community of the village of Ozero to the schismatics at the same time as the community was at prayer at the Divine Liturgy. The gathering of villagers on the bank of the local lake was attended by schismatic ‘priests’, men in military uniform from the neighbouring villages and other activists.

As the voting took place during the conduct of worship, the rector of the Church of the Intercession Father Mikhail and the faithful of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church took no part in this veche (a Russian medieval local assembly – trans.). Announcing by microphone the ‘transfer’ to them of the Church of the Intercession, the people from the ‘OCU’ headed for the church without waiting for the service to finish. In spite of the protests of the parishioners, the crowd broke down the gate and burst onto the territory of the church. They demanded the keys from Father Mikhail, and when he refused, they sealed the door of the Church of the Intercession, according to reports by the Union of Orthodox Journalists with reference to the 12 Kanal TV programme.

Over the past month the schismatics have used this same plan to ‘transfer’ to the OUC dozens of church buildings that belong to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate. Thus, on 8th May in Palche in the Volhynia governate, local activists voted at an assembly for the transfer of a church to the ‘OCU’ and broke the lock on the doors. Also, schismatics took a church in Dubische, in spite of protests by the rector. In the Rovne region under the same pretext the keys to the church in the village of Perenyatin were also handed over to the ‘OCU’.



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