One family: Vinnitsa parishioners say how they defended their temple
The parishioners of the Vinnitsa Church of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross said that unity helped them prevent the Right Sector’s provocation.
An eyewitness to the events told the UOJ that believers had gathered from all parts of the Vinnitsa eparchy to defend the temple.
The woman said: the parishioners finished the Liturgy at 11:30, did not disperse and began to read the Gospel. At this time, a lot of Orthodox believers came to the church, including many men who gathered in the cathedral to fight back the Right Sector.
The faithful flocked from all over Vinnitsa and the eparchy to defend the temple. According to her, the church didn’t witness so many people at the solemn meeting of the newly appointed ruling bishop of the Vinnitsa eparchy Archbishop Varsonofy of Vinnitsa and Bar.
Since so many people came to the service in the temple, the rector decided to serve the Great Compline.
At 14:00, activists from the Right Sector came to the church, most of the 20-year-olds were in balaclavas.
At the same time, Archbishop Varsonofy of Vinnitsa and Bar came to the temple, accompanied by the numerous clergy of the city.
When the nationalists approached the walls of the Church of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, several thousand parishioners led by the ruling bishop came out to them. The believers took surrounded them and began tearing off their balaclavas with the words: “Open your faces, let your mothers see it.”
The radicals tried to say that the “Moscow priests” should leave Vinnitsa, since Tomos had already been given to Ukraine, however, Archbishop Varsonofy explained to them that the Ukrainian Orthodox Church is much more independent than the OCU and suggested comparing the texts of the UOC and OCU’s Tomoses.
We had no fear. We did not know whether we would return home, but we knew that we were all one family and we all stood for the faith,” the parishioner summarized.
As the UOJ reported, on January 6, 2019, in Vinnitsa, several thousand Orthodox believers of Vinnitsa did not allow Right Sector activists to arrange a provocation and defended the Church of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross.