Local authorities demand to transfer UOC church in Malinsk to OCU community

Sts. Peter and Paul Church of the UOC in Malinsk. Photo: UOJ

Parishioners of Sts. Peter and Paul’s Church in Malinsk, who yesterday repelled a raider attack, were said that the legal owners of their church are the OCU community.

On September 4, 2019, in the village of Malinsk of the Berezno district, Rovno region, local authorities and law enforcement officials demanded that the UOC community leave the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul’s Church and hand it over to the OCU community. Law enforcers brought with them copies of documents confirming the ownership of the newly formed community in the church, reports a UOJ correspondent.

“The religious community of the UOC of the village of Malinsk was on the list of orders of the former chairman of the Rovno Regional State Administration Aleksey Muliarenko, that is, we were liquidated. Can you imagine that?! We do not exist! And who then maintains this temple? Who has been on watch at its walls for a few months? Who kicked out intruders who cut locks on the church yesterday? My soul is screaming. I don’t understand how this could be allowed in a state of law,” Archpriest Vladimir Gnes, the rector of the Peter and Paul Church, said in his emotional commentary.

In the church conflict escalated in the village, local self-government bodies, law enforcement officers, businessmen and teachers provide their support to the OCU. So, today, the head of the Malinsk territorial community Anatoly Dimitrov (who, according to local residents, is the "think tank" of the OCU) has arrived at the temple with the police and demanded to hang their own locks on the temple.

The confrontation in Malinsk has been ongoing for the second day in a row. Although there are dozens of times more defenders of the canonical Orthodoxy in the village than supporters of the new church structure, believers of the UOC do not know how long they will be able to withstand such pressure at the time when authorities at all levels completely ignore their rights.

We recall that on August 3, the OCU supporters made another attempt to seize Sts. Peter and Paul's Church of the UOC in Malinsk and cut down the locks on it. Believers defended their temple and declared that they would guard it

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