In Borzna district believers kick out functionaries campaigning for OCU
The UOC parishioners of the Cross Exaltation church from two villages in Chernigov region ushered out agitators for a change of jurisdiction and defended their church.
On January 16, 2019, the congregation from vlgs. Nikolaevka and Ivanovka in Borzna district disrupted an attempt to illegally transfer their religious community to the OCU. Agitators were forced to leave the meeting empty-handed. This was told by Protopriest Ioann Olenchuk of the UOC, dean of Borzna deanery of Nezhin eparchy to the UOC Information and Education Department.
Father John said: given that the day before in neighboring Olenovka at a general meeting, outsiders defined the fate of the religious community by transferring it to schism, the Orthodox believers of Nikolayevka and Ivanovka decided to attend the meetings of the village.
“We have already learnt through the situation in Olenovka. The chairman of the village council came to the temple, in the presence of all he assured that church-related issues would not be raised at these meetings. We, in turn, stressed that such things are resolved solely in the church by the religious community, not by the village community. Nevertheless, the next day not only this issue was raised but also the results of the vote were falsified. To date, a raider seizure of the premises has been committed there,” he said.
Therefore, as soon as the chairman of the people's council in Nikolaevka, Valentina Teslenko, started talking about the “transition,” she was immediately stopped.
“When they first tried to raise this issue, people immediately protested. They clearly said that they did not even want to listen to any transitions. “We ourselves know how to pray to God,” such was their answer,” Protopriest Ioann reported.
According to the dean, the rural head supported the position of the people. Therefore, the agitators went to the neighboring Ivanovka. As the priest said, they also failed to find support there.
Especially outrageous, according to the priest, was that the chairman of the district council, Viktor Gorbashchenko, being a civil servant, incited people. “He began to declare that we supposedly have an independent church in an independent state, we have democracy and the like. He began to talk nonsense about Putin as if we were praying for him in our church” said Father John.
According to him, “it is very dangerous when the chairman of the district council is engaged in dirty agitation and speculates on the feelings of people.”
The priest said that his own son had only returned ten days ago from the ATO zone, where he served for almost two years as a military doctor.
“I want to come to the district administration tomorrow and ask: did at least one of your sons serve in the ATO? Then what right do you have to tell us something about the war? They say I'm not a patriot despite the fact that my son was there. How is it possible?” the clergyman wonders.
As the UOJ reported, earlier in the village of Olenovka, Borzna district of Chernigov region, supporters of the National Cultural Center and nationalists from S14, despite the resistance of the parishioners, cut off the locks and seized the UOC temple.