Rector of the UOC temple in Malinsk: The last 3 days are appalling
A cleric of the canonical Church from Sts. Peter and Paul church in Malinsk and his parishioners spoke about the latest events around their church.
Attacks of adherents of the OCU on Sts. Peter and Paul temple of the UOC in the village of Malinsk, Rovno Region, have been going on for 3 days, and the developments are plunging into a state of shock, parishioners and church rector Archpriest Vladimir Gnes shared with the UOJ correspondent.
“The recent six months have made me terribly wary and nervous. Six months of anxiety and expectation. The OCU activists have been keeping me, my family, my parish family in suspense. And the last three days is a complete shock. I still can’t recover from what I’ve experienced: I was first blocked in my house, then my hair was torn, I was beaten and pushed, they called me names and demanded to give the church to them,” Archpriest Vladimir recalled.
According to the rector of Sts. Peter and Paul temple, what is happening in the village had an extremely negative effect on his health. But when Archpriest Vladimir turned to the district hospital due to an aggravated heart disease, the medical staff met him in an extremely hostile manner.
“I was encountered ... I don’t even know how to describe it ... as if I were an enemy or a demon. They provided medical assistance to me – but I saw these glances. They were incinerating. Now the activists of the OCU wrote three statements to the police against me, they say they will put me in jail. Let it be. If only the church and people would not be affected,” the clergyman said.
Parishioner of the temple Svetlana Korniychuk was also present at the raider seizure scene. According to the woman, when her 11-year-old daughter ran to her, a chunky activist of a newly created religious organization, who does not live in the village, hit the girl in her stomach.
“She cried and complained of pain. When we went to the ambulance and were taken to the hospital, we established a contusion of the abdominal cavity and chest. Neither the police nor the doctors paid special attention to us; they were only interested in the activists of the OCU. Even in the hospital, when the doctor was to make a conclusion after examining my daughter, he was going to write that the priest had beaten her, but I noticed that and got him to correct it,” Korniychuk said.
Supporters of the newly created religious organization invited a film crew of TSN to the village. Local residents told the news agency correspondent that the television station’s staff filmed their story mainly at the local clubhouse and in the village council, and went into the church’s courtyard only for a few minutes. In turn, Korniychuk drew attention to the fact that while she was telling TSN reporters about the beating of her daughter, the channel’s operator was filming trees.
Another parishioner of Sts. Peter and Paul temple, Elena Polishchuk, noted that when trying to seize the church, the OCU activists used gas canisters, beat people on the face, stomach, and even in the groin. Among the victims of the raider attack was not only herself, but also her husband and her close relative. The adherents of the new church structure strangled Polishchuk. Now that her neck is injured the woman can’t talk loudly; in addition, the doctors diagnosed her with an interphalangeal ligament rupture.
“This is something dreadful! Nothing can be done about it: the authorities don’t hear us, court proceedings are dragged out, and experts have not yet conducted pre-trial investigations. Look at what the officials created in the village with their orders,” commented on the events parishioner of the UOC Valentina Rozkolskaya. “The village is in a hostile state, relatives are quarreling, the OCU members inflict injuries on our children and us by twisting and breaking our hands at the temple we are defending. Is that really how the Church of God should be built? Are the doors to the House of God opened with grinders and master keys?”
After an attempt to seize their temple, the faithful of the canonical Church have alternate around-the-clock shifts in their temple, while the National Police of Ukraine has opened 12 criminal cases following the results of the church conflict in Malinsk.