Vinnitsa Eparchy: OCU activists involved in theft in Luka-Meleshkovskaya

21 November 2019 23:02
The dome of the Transfiguration Church in Luka Meleshkovskaya. Photo: The dome of the Transfiguration Church in Luka Meleshkovskaya. Photo:

The “cleric” of the OCU Viktor Chverkun and the community chairman of the new church structure Leonid Pasechnik led the illegal entry into the Sunday school premises.

It became known that on November 17, 2019, the “cleric” of the OCU Viktor Chvirkun and the chairman of the OCU community Leonid Pasechnik led the illegal penetration of supporters of their church structure into the premises of the Sunday school of the Saviour Transfiguration Church in Luka-Meleshkovskaya, Vinnitsa region, reports the website of the Vinnitsa Eparchy.

The OCU activists broke the lock on the doors of the school and entered inside to equip the premises in accordance with their needs. The invaders placed a table and benches in the Sunday school building, installed an impromptu candlestick, locked the door and left.

Parishioners of the religious community of the UOC called the police to the scene as soon as they found out about the offense. In the presence of law enforcement officials, the Sunday school was opened and inspected. The inspection showed that adherents of the OCU dumped the property of parishioners of the canonical Church into a heap. There was also the loss of two power tools – a grinder and a drill.

The criminals did not have any legal grounds for such actions since the trial in the case of the confessional affiliation of the village religious community is still ongoing.

On the territory of the temple during the execution of the protocol, the believers found two suspicious men who were hiding nearby in the bushes. Parishioners detained these men who had a hammer, a screwdriver, and work gloves. The detainees were locals with a dubious reputation. They wanted to hand them over to law enforcement officials, but one of them, a local drug addict, fell to the ground and began shouting that he was being killed and calling for help.

Neither the police nor the parishioners reacted to the provocation. Seeing this, the man stopped screaming and began to phone Chvirkun, who, as it turned out, led offenders from a distance.

While the above events were developing in the temple’s courtyard, OCU activists, members of the  Luka-Meleshkovskaya group, started publishing posts that they were allegedly “beaten, humiliated, and knelt by people from the MP”. Such messages heated up the situation, and direct threats against law enforcers and parishioners of the canonical Church began to appear on the network, as well as calls for unrest.

To follow the incident, the police opened a criminal case.

“The Vinnitsa Eparchy of the UOC calls on law enforcement bodies and the public to pay special attention to the development of the inter-confessional conflict in Luka-Meleshkovskaya,” the Vinnitsa Eparchy officials addressed the police and the public. “Starting in January this year with an illegal attempt to change the subordination of the local religious community, it quickly grew from ordinary provocations to crime and now poses a direct threat of riots and clashes on religious grounds.”

We recall that on November 17, 2019, the rector of the Saviour Transfiguration Church in the village of Luka-Meleshkovskaya, Vinnitsa region, turned to the Vinnitsa District Police Department with a statement about the theft from Sunday children's school. Offenders might face imprisonment for a term of three to six years.

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