“Right Sector” stages provocation during UOC worship in Sumy

The radicals once again tried to disrupt traditional worship in the center of Sumy. Photo: Sumy Eparchy of the UOC

For three years in a row, provocateurs have disrupted worship at the site of the destroyed temple in the center of Sumy. Local authorities and police do not react.

On October 14, 2019, on the feast of the Intercession of the Most Holy Theotokos, several dozen people under the flags of the “Right Sector” staged a “provocative Sabbath” just a few meters from the worship venue, attended by two thousand believers of the UOC. It is reported by Pravoslavie.Sumy.

"This ‘event on the occasion of the Day of Defender of Ukraine’, which was announced on social networks, according to the organizers, was supposed to be ‘an exhibition of equipment and weapons of the Voluntary Ukrainian Corps, accompanied with beautiful music, tea, coffee and much more." In fact, the whole “event” was about placing provocative posters and loudspeakers through which offensive songs were turned on to the full for those who had gathered for prayer,” the press service of the Sumy Eparchy of the UOC reported.

As in previous years, more than two thousand Orthodox believers, including numerous guests and pilgrims who had specially arrived in Sumy to attend the liturgy and prayer for peace in Ukraine, were forced to endure this “concert”, since representatives of law enforcement agencies did not take any action.

Metropolitan Eulogy of Sumy and Akhtyrka, who led the liturgy, in his address to the pilgrims expressed regret that all this happened with the tacit consent and possibly with the direct involvement of local authorities who do nothing to prevent provocation repeated from year to year.

“In the eyes of the Orthodox residents of our city and guests, such an 'event' illustrated the persecution of the Church of Christ and the mockery of believers in the post-revolutionary 20-30s of the last century,” the diocese emphasized.

After the service, believers, led by the ruling bishop and the city clergy, went to the building of the Sumy City Council in order to invite state agents to discuss the current situation. None of the civil servants turned up for a meeting with believers.

We will recall that the Holy Intercession temple in the center of Sumy was destroyed in the 30s of the last century. The temple was blown up and almost leveled with the ground, and some time later a square was set up at this place. Excavations began here about 10 years ago, which made it possible to discover the foundation of the destroyed shrine. Later, a chapel was erected on the ground which was consecrated at the feast of the Intercession of the Most Holy Theotokos. Since then, Orthodox residents of Sumy have been coming here every year to jointly pray in a cross procession.

As reported by the UOJ, in 2017, the executive committee of the city council of Sumy for the first time did not allow Archbishop Eulogy to hold a traditional divine service on Pokrovskaya Square and a cross procession on October 14. Starting from this year, the radicals began to regularly organize their actions aimed to disrupt worship at the site of the destroyed temple.

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