UOC asks President to protect churches from frequent thefts

Metropolitan Anatoly of Sarny sent an appeal to the President with a request to protect the religious feelings of believers and churches of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church from vandalism, reports the Information and Education Department of the UOC.

Metropolitan Anatoly of Sarny and Polessie turned to the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko with a request to pay attention to the criminal state in the Rivne region and protect the religious feelings of believers and churches of the UOC from vandal attacks.

"I appeal to the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko with a request to pay attention to the criminal state in the Rivne region and protect the churches and the faithful of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church from filth and pain, which the citizens of Ukraine feel from the crimes committed by offenders. I think that in the region a criminal group is operating, which for one night can lift three churches at once," said in a statement.

On the night of 11 October, two churches were burgled in the territory of the Rivne region. In the Sarny diocese of the UOC, St. Michael's church in the village of Kamenka of the Berezno region has been looted for the second time in a year. According to the rector of St. Michael Church, Archpriest John Khilchuk, criminals broke down the side door, got into the church, with their actions desecrated the church and robbed the cashier. That same night Archangel Michael’s Church in vil. Schekichin of the Korets district, the Rivne region, was robbed.

It’s a year since the first robbery of a church in the village of Kamenka. But the previous crime committed by intruders in December 2014 has not been solved so far. Last year there were more than twenty acts of vandalism and robbery of churches in the territory of the Rivne region, none of the crimes have been solved and the perpetrators have not received due punishment.

Earlier, Metropolitan Anatoly appealed to the public with a statement about another break-in of the church on 15 April.
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