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OCU supporters seize and ransack a church in&…

OCU supporters seize and ransack a church in Nosovka

DECR Communication Service, 04.10.2023. 

The OCU supporters seized, desecrated and ransacked the Holy Trinity church in the town of Nosovka, Chernigov region, Ukraine. A raider beat a parishioner during a prayer service, which the community was celebrating at the walls of the seized church. Website ‘Pravoslavnaya Zhizn’ (Orthodox Life) quotes press service of the Diocese of Nezhin of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church as telling about the incident.

The raider attack on the UOC Holy Trinity church occurred on the night of October 2 just before curfew time. Unknown persons in camouflage and policemen cordoned off access to the church and did not allow parishioners to enter, saying that the church belongs to “the city territorial community.”

The report of the Nezhin diocese press service says, “The non-local OCU priests were controlling criminal wrongdoings. For some reason, police allowed an activist Zezyulkina by name to enter the church. She attacked the UOC faithful and tried to smash their phones; police did not detain her on hooliganism charges. The evil-doers burst into the sanctuary and desecrated the altar and sacred objects on it. Also, the unknown persons took liturgical vessels out of the church.”

After seizing the Holy Trinity church, the raiders set a guard on the church grounds not to allow divine services there. There were no OCU representatives in the church, and in the other two churches in Nosovka belonging to that structure, too.

The community of the Holy Trinity church continues to pray in the open air. On October 3, a man in military uniform, who earlier had helped seizing the church, savagely beat a parishioner during a prayer service.

The medical examination revealed ‘contusion of thorax, rib fractures, and contusion of the left forearm.’ A complaint was lodged with law enforcement bodies, but the local police did not put it on the register.

The diocese says that prior to assault the injured woman had faced the raiders’ outright threats of persecution, beating and even putting her to death.

Detailed information of the incident and of the failure to act on the part of the local law enforcement bodies has been presented to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. The UN officials said that they would follow the investigation of the recorded crimes in order to include the facts of the violation of human rights on religious grounds to the report of the High Commissioner.


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