Another parish joins prayer standing in Chernovtsy eparchy
In the Chernovtsy eparchy, the community of the fifth church has joined the 24-hour prayer standing.
Believers of the Archangel Michael Church of the UOC in the village of Berezhnitsa of the Vizhnitsa district are protecting their church and asking for prayer support, reports the press service of the eparchy.
On February 10, 2019, the religious community of the church held a parish meeting.
Believers explain: everything happened according to the rules. A secretary was elected, protocols were drawn up, and a vote was taken. The members of the religious community, together with the priest, decided to stay in the UOC led by His Beatitude Metropolitan Onufry. 110 parishioners supported the decision, listed their names, surnames and put their signatures.
There were several people in the temple who began to interrupt the priest and shouted: “You are Russia”. At the same time, they refused to record their own opinion and votes against the UOC and left the church.
“However, unfortunately, the will of the parishioners of the temple was completely ignored by individual officials. In the village there were those who started going door to door, antagonizing fellow villagers, and urging them to go to the church to transfer it to the OCU. According to the villagers, the wife of the head of the Education Department of the Vizhnitsa Regional State Administration incited teachers and called the community members,” the post says.
On February 17, a "the priest" from the village of Milievo, who fell in schism many years ago, brought 40 people to Berezhnitsa. Villagers who did not belong to the community came to the temple and declared that they wanted to take part in the voting.
The rector of the church, Father Konstantin, says: “They do not want me to bless water for them, they do not want me to baptize them or marry them. And they came to vote. Who goes to the service knows about the meeting."
When the service was coming to an end and the community began to prepare for Communion, activists began shouting insults and slander against believers and the priest. After the Liturgy, the rector asked the provocateurs to leave the temple, but they refused.
Some believers remained in the church to pray. The other part led by the priest went out with the activists of the OCU to listen to their suggestions.
Instead of communicating, the cleric from the village of Milievo began to campaign for the transition to the OCU, saying that everyone should transfer because there is only one legal church in Ukraine.
Local officials, the head of the Education Department of the Vizhnitsa District State Administration Mikhail Andrich, together with his wife Elena, who began to collect signatures of the territorial community and call for transfer to the OCU, came to the “meeting” in the churchyard.
A cleric from the village of Banilova arrived at the church and brought with him a “new rector”.
Not having received the keys to the temple, the OCU activists organized a service at the cross, where they usually bless water. The parishioners of the church, together with the rector, decided to join the prayerful standing started 22 days ago by the community of the Church of the Dormition of the Most Holy Theotokos in the village of Vaslovovtsy.
On February 20, a solemn Liturgy will be held at the Archangel Michael Church, in the presence of many priests of the deanery. On the same day, a village gathering is scheduled.
“We ask for holy prayers so that no one will resort to violence, violate the laws and the Constitution of Ukraine. Let peace and love return to vlg. Berezhnitsa", ask the believers.
Earlier, in connection with numerous cases of violation of human rights and the threat of escalation of religious conflicts, the head of the UOC Representative Office at European international organizations Bishop Victor (Kotsaba) of Baryshevka appealed to officials of the UN, OSCE, EU and other countries to influence the situation in Ukraine.