In Budiatichi, UOC community disrupts OCU's attempt to seize temple

Blocked doors of the St. Nicholas Church of the UOC in the village of Budiatichi. A photo: volynnews.com

Representatives of the OCU wanted to conduct an illegal "inventory" of the St. Nicholas Church. The believers of the UOC gathered for the prayer prevented this.

On November 26, 2019, the representatives of the OCU in the village of Budiatichi of the Ivanichi district, Volyn region, made another attempt to seize the St. Nicholas Church of the UOC.

The rector of the church, Archpriest John Sabivchak, received a warning letter from the local activist of the OCU V. Makarchuk that the community of the OCU intends to enter the church and conduct an “inventory” there. Makarchuk considers himself an authorized person from a religious community. In the morning, he came to the temple, accompanied by 20 people, who almost disrupted the morning prayer of the UOC community consisting of 50 parishioners and several Orthodox priests.

“The supporters of the OCU have their own site allocated for the construction of the temple, which three years ago was consecrated by their “bishop" Mikhail Zinkevich. It’s not clear to us why they don’t want to continue working on it because in three years I’ve already built half a church!” says Father John.

At the moment, Makarchuk accuses the priest of "closing the church". The parishioners of the UOC have a video of how the activist of the OCU did that. So far, the Orthodox community has managed to defend their shrine: law enforcement officers called to the scene of the conflict showed professionalism.

Archpriest John Sabivchak in response to the claims of the OCU announced that the case of re-registering the parish of the UOC in favor of their organization is now pending before the Supreme Court of Ukraine, which suspended the proceedings by decisions of previous instances.

According to Father John, he agrees to communicate with the representative of the OCU – for example, to find out how the latter was appointed "rector" of the parish in Budiatichy. However, that day he was not in place, although several clerics of the schismatic organization were present at the church.

The confrontation near the closed temple lasted two hours. Seeing the resilience of people, activists of the OCU abandoned their intentions. Since April 2019, the St. Nicholas Church has been locked and chained. The UOC community, with whose efforts the church and the entire temple complex were built here, still prays on the street near the church gate and defends its shrine from claimants for real estate. The lawsuit against the regional authorities, which re-registered the community based on a falsified protocol, is being tried in court.

As reported by the UOJ, representatives of the UOC from the village of Budiatichi took part in an appeal to the President of Ukraine on the protection of the rights of believers.

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