A priest driven from the UOC temple in Odessa who restored it for 17 years

Protopriest Sergiy Dmitriev

The temple of Sts Cyril and Methodius at the military academy has now become a "place for meeting religious needs", its rector having been forbidden to worship there.

In Odessa, the priest of the UOC was expelled from the church in honor of Saints Cyril and Methodius, located on the territory of the military academy. This was reported by the press service of Odessa diocese on its official Youtube channel.

Since 2002, Protopriest Sergiy Dmitriev has been the rector of the church in honor of Cyril and Methodius Equal-to-the-Apostles and was engaged in its restoration.

“The temple was in the working condition, statutory services were conducted there,” Fr Sergiy said. “In 2018, a change in attitude towards the Church, towards Orthodoxy, began.”

The priest recalled the incident that occurred on August 14, 2018, when believers and the clergy of the UOC were prevented from entering the church premises.

“After this incident, nobody was allowed to go to the temple, except me. Then they also barred me from entering the territory of the military academy. I was left without the temple, which I had been restoring all this time ... They took off a sign that it was an Orthodox church of the UOC and instead put a sign that it was “a place of satisfaction of religious needs,” the cleric said.

Recall, on August 14 in Odessa, believers of the UOC were not allowed into the temple of St. Cyril and Methodius, located on the territory of the Military Academy. Later, the leadership of the Academy reported that the premises of the former temple of Sts Cyril and Methodius are used for pastoral work and do not belong to any of the faiths.

Earlier, Yuriy Bereza, MP from Narodnyi Front (“Popular Front”) took the initiative to ban the activities of the UOC “in the territories of all military formations, including the border guard service, the National Guard, and the Security Service”.

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