Believers defend their church in Baranovka

Metropolitan Nikodim with parishioners of the Church of the Nativity of the Most Holy Theotokos in Baranovka

The villagers defended the temple until 24:00, then they left the guards and went home.

Believers of the UOC in the town of Baranovka managed to defend their church, the rector Archpriest Roman Klim told the UOJ.

On March 10, 2019, during the prayer standing of the parishioners of the Church of the Nativity of the Most Holy Theotokos, the OCU activists began storming the church. They removed the believers from the door, despite the fact that there were many of the faithful. Among the adherents of the new church structure was the head of the local administration, who said that he had come as a parishioner. As soon as the OCU supporters managed to get to the temple doors, they immediately turned on the grinder, cut off the sheds and removed the doors from the hinges.

According to the rector, members of the religious community of the temple were in the church at that time.

“About 150 women with children with icons stood as a prayer shield,” said the clergyman.

The activists threatened the believers, tore the jackets of those who defended the church from seizure, injured one of the parishioners and beat the icons that the women were holding in their hands.

However, the followers of the OCU failed to get inside the temple, Archpriest Roman said.

Having carried out the Rite of Forgiveness in Zhitomir, the ruling bishop of the Zhitomir Eparchy, Metropolitan of Zhitomir and Novograd-Volynsky Nikodim (Gorenko) arrived in Baranovka. He supported and comforted the parishioners of the Church of the Nativity of the Most Holy Theotokos.

After a while, the door of the temple was welded back, but the believers did not leave their church, because the OCU activists were still in the churchyard. Only around 24:00 people left guards in the temple and were able to go home.

“For the past month, we have been praying every night in the temple and guarded. We decided to continue,” said Archpriest Roman.

And he added that one of the participants in the seizure, the deputy of the Baranovka town council Oleg Kovalsky, a representative of the Oleg Liashko Radical Party, came to the second clergyman in Baranovka, Father Alexander, and threatened him with reprisals against everyone. During the assault of the temple, he hit the priest's mother on the head, after which Father Alexander wrote a report to the law enforcement agencies.

The editorial board of the UOJ reminds: in case of violation of the rights of the episcopate, clergy, laity and institutions of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (obstruction of worship, seizure of temples, commission of provocations and pressure, threats, etc.) one should immediately contact the Legal Department of the UOC by phone: 097- 537-55-96.

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How has your life changed since the outbreak of war?
It hasn't changed in any way
My church has been seized by OCU members
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