Not to back off and not to give in – the UOC community of Gribovitsa village is about to build a new church
The UOC congregation of the Patronage of the Mother of God in Volyn village Gribovitsa is gradually returning to their fully-valued parochial life. The believers decided to build a new small church on the land plot owned by the community’s priest instead of the ancient church which was seized by the Kiev Patriarchate.
Orthodox believers have not had a possibility to enter their own church since September 2015, after the first public conflict, initiated by the UOC-KP community. For several months the building remained sealed until the Kiev Patriarchate’s adherents together with the village chairman unsealed it, having finally acquired the church of the Patronage of the Mother of God. Since then the Orthodox faithful of vlg. Gribovitsy have been praying in the house where the UOC priest’s family live. On July 2nd all clergymen of the UOC Ivanichevck deanery came to this place. In the house where protopriest Igor Margita lives and worships, the confession of the priests took place. Having learned about the seizure incident, even those villagers who usually attend the church seized by the Kiev Patriarchate came to the service in the house.
Having got exhausted with procrastination of judicial proceedings and co-villagers’ reproaches who mongered the conflict, the UOC believers agreed on building their new church. The building located on the private territory will be immune from assault. According to dean father Anatoliy Sidko, a construction idea will be supported, the only concern being fund-raising.
According to the church female parishioners, the so called “transition” to the Kiev Patriarchate has only dispersed the village community. The point is not just about somebody remaining with the UOC priest, who refused to change confession and became subject to real persecutions. The UOC KP community that initially looked convincing and numerous scattered around other villages and churches of the Kiev Patriarchate. While the UOC KP services immediately after the seizure were attended by 50 persons at maximum, now the church building receives as many parishioners as the house of the UOC priest does.
The faith of the UOC congregation, who suffered real trials, has not diminished. Like before, they support their priest and strive to come back to services in the church, and if it’s necessary – to build a new church.