OCU supporters seize UOC church in the village of Mashcha, Rovno region

Supporters of the OCU cut down the locks and went into the temple of the UOC in the village of Mashcha. Photo: UOJ

On Saturday morning, OCU supporters, led by two "clergymen", cut locks on the temple of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in the village of Mashcha.

On November 9, 2019, at about 8 a.m., supporters of the OCU seized the St. John the Theologian Church of the UOC in the village of Mashcha of the Kostopol District, Rovno Region, reports a UOJ correspondent.

Believers of the UOC, who gathered in the territory of the church, called the police.

“When we arrived, the locks on the church were already cut off and people were inside,” said the rector of the church, Archpriest Daniil Ilnitsky. “Two ‘priests’ of the OCU, several local young activists and representatives of some military group led the seizure.” 

Eyewitnesses reported that law enforcers who arrived at the scene of the incident did not help in any way to avoid the violent confrontation that arose between the UOC believers who wanted to go to their church and the supporters of the OCU.

Currently, the situation in the village is extremely hot, parishioners of the seized church called their human rights defender and representatives of the Sarny Eparchy of the UOC for negotiations.

The UOJ is monitoring the further developments and reminds: in case of the violation of the rights of the episcopate, clergy, laity and institutions of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (obstruction of worship, the seizure of churches, provocations and pressure, threats, etc.), you must immediately contact the Legal Department of the UOC by phone: 097-537-55-96.

As already reported, the head of the Polessye and Sarny Eparchy, Metropolitan Anatoly (Gladky) told the OSCE representatives about the seizures of temples of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in the region. The members of the monitoring mission assured the metropolitan that they would bring this information to the attention of other OSCE members in order to influence the situation and stop the violation of the rights of believers.

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