In Piatigory, OCU expels from house cancer-stricken rector of seized church

An attempt to seize a temple in Piatigory. Photo: UOC

In the village of Piatigory, OCU supporters gave a month to a cancer-suffering priest with his family to move out of the house where he has lived for 27 years.

On August 9, 2019, the rector of the Nativity of the Theotokos Church in the village of Piatigory of the Zdolbunov district, Rovno region, was notified by a registered letter of the need to leave the church house of the temple taken over by the OCU, reports the UOC's Facebook page.

The letter was sent by the former initiator of the church conflict, and now the chairman of the parish council of the OCU Igor Shchebet, calling it a notification offer. In it, the OCU supporter proposes the clergyman to vacate the church house within a month.

“We propose that you should vacate the indicated house together with your family within a month because this house is needed for the priest of our community to live,” the letter says.

In addition, the document states that the owners of the house with premises at the address: 48 Tsentralnaya Street, Piatigory village, is the religious community of the OCU. 

The UOC faithful think that the preparation of documents for privatization bypassed the law.

“Two weeks ago, BTI representatives were already brought into our courtyard, but I didn’t allow them to take measurements because the criminal proceedings were open and there will be a trial soon,” says priest Viktor Dovbeniuk, the rector of the Nativity of the Theotokos parish of Piatigory. “Therefore, I don’t understand on what grounds the house can belong to another community.”

As the UOJ reported, on April 20, 2019, on the eve of Palm Sunday, OCU activists seized the church of the UOC in the village of Piatigory of the Zdolbunov district, Rovno region. According to eyewitnesses, proponents of the Orthodox Church in Ukraine entered the territory of the Nativity of the Theotokos Church of the UOC supposedly to perform evening service under the walls of the church and consecrate the willow. It turned out that the “worship” served only as a disguise for the seizure of the temple. While the OCU "priest" performed rites, the raiders broke open the doors. The raiding attack was led by the deputy of the Zdolbunov RSA Igor Shchebet.

We remind that earlier the church in Piatigory was sealed by representatives of the authorities because of the interfaith conflict. There was an agreement between the two religious communities that none of the communities would go into the church before the dispute was resolved in court, however, representatives of the OCU constantly violated the agreement. In particular, on April 17, the deputy of the Zdolbunov RSA Igor Shchebet with assistants already made an attempt to break open the church doors but was stopped by the UOC believers.

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