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'OCU’ supporters have captured the church of …

'OCU’ supporters have captured the church of St. Michael of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in the city of Bojarka

DECR Communication Service, 12.05.2023

On May 6, a group of unknown people in military uniform and balaclava masks, acting with the direct help of the local authorities and police, captured the St. Michael church in the city of Bojarka, Kiev region.

According to the report from the Information-Education Department of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, when the group of raiders came to the St. Michael church, there were its parishioners in its territory. The capture of the shrine began with the ‘OCU’ supporters cutting off the lock at the gate and penetrating the territory of the church. They used pepper sprays and brute force. The wife of the rector of the St. Michael church was later hospitalized with injuries of her arm and leg. Injured was also the priest himself.

After throwing most of the faithful out of the church territory, the people of military uniform with the help of the police blocked the entrance and did not let anybody including a lawyer to enter it. Then the invaders broke the church door.

Directly participating in the raid actions were the chairman of the Bojarka City Council, Alexander Zarubin together with the so-called rector of the ‘OCU’ church. Besides them, there was the head of the Fastov City Police Administration. ‘It has happened in spite of the fact that we have an extract from the court register showing that the vote on the transfer to the ‘OCU’ is illegitimate’, the lawyer of the religious community commented the act of raiding.

The parishioners of the captured St. Michael church of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church are now worshipping in the open air. According to the information from the Union of Orthodox Journalists, on May 7, the community assembled to celebrate the Sunday Liturgy at the church gates; there were over 130 people. During the service, the perimeter of the church was guarded against the parishioners by people in military uniform.

Later that day, there was also a ‘service’ of the ‘OCU’ representatives; the authorities managed to assemble only fifteen people.

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