Book “The Flip Side of Tomos” published
The book describes meetings with UOC parishioners of Rovno Region, who despite tough pressure from authorities and activists, managed to remain faithful to the Church.
Writer, publicist and one of the leading authors of the UOJ Andrei Vlasov released the book “The Flip Side of Tomos. My meetings with true Christians”.
How do the parishioners of the UOC live in villages where supporters of the “Orthodox Church of Ukraine” alongside the authorities have taken away their temples; why did the once united and friendly villages get filled with hatred and evil after the Tomos, where a brother does not talk with his brother and a neighbor with his neighbor, and – most importantly – how and why in these difficult conditions believers try to preserve their inner peace and respond with good to evil? This is highlighted in a new book.
“Studying the church history of the first three centuries for many years, I wanted to understand, clarify, and imagine how the first Christians lived. How did they live, whom did they socialize with, how did they raise their children? How did they try to overcome misunderstanding (at best) or hatred of their neighbors and fellow tribesmen or sometimes even relatives? How did they manage to preserve their faith? What were they ready to endure affliction and humiliation for? How did they overcome fear for the lives of their loved ones and especially children? What did they feel? How did they treat their persecutors? The answers to these questions cannot be obtained from historical evidence or from the lives of saints. After all, most of these believers were not saints in common understanding of the word since they were ordinary people. Anyway – how did they live?
And so in September 2019 I got in touch with the life of persecuted Christians. As a member of the UOJ film crew, I was able to visit seven communities of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Rovno region. These communities were deprived of their temples by dissenters from the so-called Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU – Ed.). The faithful from these communities suffered beatings, deprivation of property and housing. They live in an atmosphere of hatred; they are physically threatened and morally stressed, including children. They are subject to insult and humiliation. Under the threat of dismissal from work or deprivation of other livelihoods, they are being forced to renounce the Church of Christ and join the OCU. Nevertheless, they do not renounce it but remain faithful to their Church. They continue to live there without hating their persecutors, without willing to take revenge or somehow get even for their unfair trials. They live and serve God. In private homes, abandoned stores, or just under hastily built canopies or tents. But the life of these communities continues. And this is Life in Christ.
They describe this life personally …"
The book can be soon downloaded in the English vesion.