SBU summons for questioning a priest of Rovno Eparchy of UOC

Archpriest Victor Zemlianoy, head of the Department for Settlement of Interfaith Сonflicts at the Rovno Eparchy of the UOC

Archpriest Victor was served a summons on March 12, now he is currently being interrogated.

On March 13, 2019, the deputy head of the Office of the Security Service of Ukraine in the Rovno region Bogdan Tuz summoned for questioning Archpriest Victor Zemlianoy, the head of the Department for Settlement of Interfaith Сonflicts at the Rovno Eparchy of the UOC, as a witness in the criminal case N22017180000000025.

A UOJ correspondent visited the scene to find out that the summons was served when Archpriest Victor arrived home after reading the Great Canon of St Andrew of Crete.

According to the UOC cleric, the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) also wanted to serve a notice of suspicion together with a summons, but they changed their mind at the last moment. According to preliminary data, in fact, a criminal case was filed against the clergyman himself.

Archpriest Victor and his lawyer arrived at the appointed time. With them came the parishioners of the Holy Resurrection Church of the city of Ostrog, who want to support their rector, as well as representatives of the clergy of the eparchy.

At the moment, the priest is under interrogation. The UOJ is monitoring the developments.

Over the years of his activity, Archpriest Victor has managed to return to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church three churches seized by schismatics and prevented 27 takeovers of other temples. However, his ministry causes opposition from schismatics, radicals, local authorities, and law enforcement officials.

A slanderous media campaign has been launched against the priest, his family and he receive threats, law enforcement agencies have joined the persecution. In 2017, he was searched: personal belongings and religious literature were seized. Archpriest Victor linked up the pressure of the SBU with his activities to organize the All-Ukrainian Cross Procession. The church literature was the ground for initiating criminal proceedings against the priest.

On December 6, 2018, in the city of Korets, the clergyman was again served with a summons to the Security Service of Ukraine, for which the police stopped the car of Archpriest Viktor Zemlianoy, under the pretext of searching. The cleric of the Rovno Eparchy noted: after the media declared Fr. Viktor a "mouthpiece of the Kremlin," he was ready for something like that. “According to my observations, as soon as articles about me appear in the press, wait for the next steps,” the priest said.

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