Representatives of OCU seize UOC-KP temple

St. John Chrysostom's Church of the UOC-KP in the village of Pivni. Photo: Facebook

As a result of a raider seizure of a parish organized by OCU "priests" in the village of Pivni in the Kiev region, several "priests" of the UOC-KP were injured.

On July 30, 2019, representatives of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church made a raider seizure of the St. John Chrysostom parish of the UOC-KP in the village of Pivni of the Fastov district, Kiev region, reports the UOC-KP press centre.

“The incident was preceded by the fact that the former rector of the parish, priest Nikolai Zhurilo, began to urge and tried to fraudulently collect signatures of community members and villagers for transferring the community to the OCU,” the press centre said in a statement. “Having learned about this, members of the community, who are believers of the Kiev Patriarchate, informed the Kiev Patriarchate of the insidious and destructive activities of their rector. The Patriarch of Kiev and All Rus-Ukraine Filaret, by his order, dismissed the priest Nikolai Zhurilo from the rector of the parish and appointed a new rector of the priest Nikolai Grebinchenko. The new rector arrived at the parish on July 27 and, with the consent of the community, performed divine services in the church.”

After that, according to the report, “psychological pressure and even threats and intimidation of members of the Kiev Patriarchate community began in order to change their church affiliation and become subordinate to the OCU”, and on July 30 “representatives of the OCU led by the Secretary of the Kiev Eparchy Archpriest Michael Lesiuk and the Dean of the Fastov district of the OCU Archpriest Mikhail Danyliv arrived in Pivni to seize the church.”

“Together with the clergy of the Fastov Deanery of the OCU, a large number of people, about 100 persons, who are not members of the community, permanent parishioners and Pivni residents, were brought to the village. Representatives of the OCU, without the will of the parish community, held their meeting and formed a new community of the OCU. On learning of such intentions, at the request of the parishioners of the church, Patriarch Filaret sent to vlg. Pivni a church commission consisting of Bishop Andrei of Vasilkov, Rector of St. Vladimir’s Cathedral Archpriest Boris Tabachek, Dean of the Fastov Deanery Archpriest Alexander Artemchuk and the clergy of the Fastov Deanery."

As a result, clashes occurred between the “clergy” of the OCU and the UOC-KP, “in particular, one of the oldest priests, Dean Archpriest Georgy Kushniruk, was severely injured at the hands of the OCU priests — Fastov Dean of the OCU Archpriest Mikhail Danilov was strangling him until his unconsciousness while another priest Ivan Shtefiuk twisted the father’s hands. ” Also, the UOC-KP reported that one of its “priests” had his nose broken.

“As a result of the raiding actions of the OCU, a new community was created as part of the OCU and the temple was seized. Believers of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kiev Patriarchate are now unable to attend and pray in their own church. The Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kiev Patriarchate will not leave its parishioners in trouble, but in the future, as a loving mother, it will provide the full spiritual and prayer support,” the press service of the UOC-KP emphasized.

We recall that earlier the head of the UOC-KP appealed to the President of Ukraine Vladimir Zelensky with a request to protect the Kiev Patriarchate since, in his opinion, “it goes about the interests of the Ukrainian people”, and now in Ukraine “a raider attack begins on the property of the UOC-Kiev Patriarchate, and this raiding is personally led by Metropolitan Epiphany, Primate of the OCU.”

As reported, on July 31, the Ministry of Culture of Ukraine officially confirmed the liquidation of the Kiev Patriarchate. On the same day, the OCU announced the liquidation of the administrative centres of the UOC-KP and UAOC and the introduction of appropriate amendments to the Unified State Register of Legal Entities.

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