Believers of Baranovka hold prayer standing against persecutions of the UOC
After illegal voting for the “transfer” to OCU, Baranovka district administration expects the rector to “voluntarily” give the keys to the UOC temple.
On February 20, 2019, hundreds of believers gathered in the temple of the Nativity of the Virgin in Baranovka city, Zhitomir region, to stand prayerfully for the canonical Church and its head, the dean of Baranovka district, Protopriest Roman Klim.
The prayer service, which was led by Metropolitan Nikodim of Zhitomir and Novograd-Volynsky, was attended by clerics of Zhitomir, Novograd-Volynsky, Romanovka and Baranovka deaneries. Together with the clergy, hundreds of believers offered up prayers to the Lord for peace on the Ukrainian land.
As it became known to the UOJ, yesterday, on February 20, a meeting of the territorial community was held in the House of Culture of the city of Baranovka, where a vote was taken to transfer the local Orthodox temple to the OCU.
“300-400 people gathered in the house of culture,” Vladyka Nikodim told the parishioners of the temple of the Holy Nativity of the Virgin. “We have no idea what kind of people they are, what confession they are, what religion they are, what they do. The whole assembly was led by a Greek Catholic. Everybody voted for the transition of the Baranovka community in the OCU. They decided for us and today they are already signing all these documents, while tomorrow they are going to call Father Roman so that he would give them the temple keys.”
The chancellor of the Zhitomir diocese stressed that all documents of the UOC religious community are valid and have legal force.
“We will keep standing as long as necessary,” said His Eminence Nikodim. “And if they throw us out of here, then let the whole world and Constantinople see it – what they have done. Which community voted for? Here it is – the community in the church! ”
In turn, Protopriest Roman Klim said that he was offered to voluntarily come to the office of the head of administration and give the keys to the temple himself.
“I serve the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and have many parishioners around me. We are many, we have manifested it. And today they didn’t come to us just because there are many of us here, so they got afraid,” Father Roman said to the believers.
“We have one Orthodox temple in Baranovka, we live peacefully. Thank God, everything is fine. And then someone decided that they had the right to this temple and began to incite people to take it away from us,” said Protopriest Roman Klim, the dean of Baranovka district in his commentary to the UOJ, having noted all the process takes place under the auspices of the district administration, the head which – Nikolai Velchinsky – personally visited the parishes and campaigned for the priests to join the OCU.
The priest said that on February 14 he was informed about the provocations and the seizure of the temple that were being prepared the next day. At the vigil, he notified his parishioners about this and they immediately organized a parish meeting, at which under the protocol they testified to being faithful to the canonical Church.
However, the provocations by the supporters of the OCU did not stop and the illegal “transition” of the only Orthodox temple in Baranovka to the new church structure is still being attempted. According to the Protopriest, the main initiator of the “transition” is Oleg Kovalsky – a representative of the Radical Party led by Oleg Liashko, a politician being very far from the Church.
Recall that in the summer of 2016, in Baranovka, the image of Jesus Christ was painted over for “separatism” and affiliation to the “Russian world”.