OCU activists with the complicity of the police seize UOC temple in Kurash

The village of Kurash is part of the Solomievka village council, whose head organized the seizure of a UOC temple.

The interfaith conflict in vlg. Kurash of the Rovno region started on April 9. Then the believers defended their church, but today OCU activists have cut locks on it.

On Tuesday, April 16, 2019, supporters of the “independent Church” cut locks at the Holy Transfiguration Church of the UOC in the village of Kurash of the Dubrovitsa district, Rovno region, and held there a “moleben”. The law enforcers called to the scene did not take any measures to prevent the seizure of the temple and help the UOC believers.

As it became known to the UOJ, the confrontation began on Saturday, April 9. The parishioners had to defend their temple from the encroachments of the newly formed “community” of the OCU throughout the day, starting at 10:30. Powerful support to local activists was provided by aggressively-minded men who came from neighbouring settlements specifically to participate in a raider seizure. The "operation" was led by the head of the Solomievka village council Oleg Bilotil.

The opponents of the canonical Church demanded that the rector, Archpriest Vasily Ivanichko, who has served in this parish for 30 years, give them the keys to the temple. When they could not come to an agreement, the activists decided to seal the temple. This is what Oleg Bilotil did, sealing all the doors in a row and hanging chains with locks on them.

On Sunday, April 10, the UOC believers no longer had the opportunity to worship in their church.

This morning, OCU supporters gathered at the Holy Transfiguration Church, a large number of non-native men again came to the village. They blocked access to the temple for UOC parishioners in every possible way. This, in particular, was also done by the police officers who came on call.

The elder of the newly formed OCU community Vladimir Mirko cut off the locks and the "believers" entered the temple, where they served their “prayer service”. For this, a “priest” of the UOC KP arrived in Kurash from Dubrovitsa.

According to the witnesses of the events, the police in no way prevented the seizure of the Holy Transfiguration Church. So, the believers had to call the emergency number 102 several times to report not only offences on behalf of the raiders but also the inaction of the law enforcement officers who had already arrived. In the end, believers filed a complaint with the police, but there is no particular enthusiasm about this.

We note: earlier, the religious community of the UOC of the village of Kurash declared its desire to remain in the bosom of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church under His Beatitude, Metropolitan Onufry. At the parish meeting, which took place in March of this year, 92 believers unanimously voted for this decision and recorded it. 

On March 24, local supporters of the OCU also held a meeting, and 4 days later, the Rovno administration liquidated the UOC community, reissuing all its documents to the OCU community.

As the UOJ reported, on April 15, 2019, the Holy Dormition Church of Rovno housed a press conference on the topic: “Forced liquidation of UOC religious communities in the Rovno region. Church raiding."

The Editors remind that 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, a commission of provocations and pressure, threats, etc.), immediately contact the Legal Department of the UOC by phone: 097-537 -55-96.

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