OCU activists stage provocations in five villages of Bukovina
OCU proponents brought along activists with posters and loudspeakers to the temples of religious communities of the UOC, and a fight was held in vlg. Tovtry.
On February 24, 2019, activists staged provocations in five localities of the Chernovtsy-Bukovina eparchy: Berezhnitsa, Berezhonka, Zadubrovka, Vaslovovtsy and Tovtry. It is reported by the Information and Education Department of the UOC.
In Berezhnitsa, the OCU activists were delivered by 10 cars. The head of the village council came out to the people, who began to calm down the visitors, and asked everyone to abide by the laws.
Believers of the UOC read the Psalter in the temple and prayed to the Most Holy Theotokos at the gates. Earlier, at 5 o'clock in the morning, the temple rector Fr. Constantine performed the Divine Liturgy together with the believers, then sang the Akathistos to the Archangel Michael of God. They prayed for peace to return to the village.
Police squads arrived. Violent action did not occur. Everything was filmed on camera. Activists were awaiting the arrival of their leadership: “only men, they didn’t read prayers, smoked cigarettes,” witnesses of the events tell.
In the village of Berezhonka, the OCU activists tried to hold an illegal meeting. Up to 10 police officers arrived. The public order is retained. Religious community was praying on the temple premises. Activists were chatting peacefully on the street. A missionary of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church arrived, Fr. John Verenko, who had a dispute with those interested on the subject of the religious situation in Ukraine.
In the village of Zadubrovka, supporters of the newly established church structure arrived at about 11 am, spread provocative posters, brought along amplifiers, shouted at the senior priest Leonid. They were waiting for the "OCU pastor", inciting religious strife.
Father Leonid together with the believers of the church of the Archangel Michael served the Divine Liturgy at 8:30. After the service, everyone remained in the temple and prayer standing continued. They called the police.
At 12:00 in Vaslovovtsy village, OCU activists came to the temple. About 50 people demanded to let them into the Holy Dormition temple of the UOC community in order to hold a service together with the three "priests" from the OCU.
The faithful of the canonical Orthodox Church continued praying in the temple and called the police.
In the village of Tovtry, OCU activists attempted to seize the Holy Dormition temple of the UOC. There was a fight, believers called the police and documented a statement about the fact of provocation to law enforcement agencies.
Functionaries arrived at the locality to persuade the provocateurs not to cut off the locks.
On the same day, in the village of Veliky Kuchurov, the UOC religious community voted for loyalty to the canonical Church.
After the liturgy, the believers held a meeting. According to the counting commission, 632 members of the community spoke in favor of loyalty to the UOC, and 4 – against. The rector sprinkled all the present with the holy water and the people happily went home.
As the UOJ reported, in light of numerous cases of human rights violations and the threat of escalation of religious conflicts, the head of the UOC Representative Office to European International Organizations, Bishop Victor (Kotsaba) of Baryshevka addressed officials of the UN, OSCE, EU and other countries to influence the situation in Ukraine.