Bishop Pimen supports the UOC believers defending their temple in Riasniki

Bishop Pimen supported the believers of the UOC in Riasniki, who are defending their temple. Photo:

Bishop Pimen of Dubno visited the UOC believers in Riasniki village, who have been defending the right to pray in their church for the sixth year now.

On February 23, 2020, on the Day of the Last Judgment, the vicar of the Rivne Diocese, Bishop Pimen of Dubno, celebrated the Divine Liturgy in the Holy Protection temple of Riasniki village, Hoshcha District, Rivne Region. This was reported by the UOJ correspondent.

The liturgy was attended by about two hundred UOC believers living in the village.

Eyewitnesses say that on this day an indescribable joy and elation were enthroned in the temple.

“I will say that not only for people but also for me this liturgy was special, a kind of small miracle as a gift from God,” says the hierarch. “During the last confrontation, at the door of this church, I prayed and asked the Lord that he would make me bless the Divine Liturgy in these prayed walls. And it did happen!”

On behalf of the chancellor of the ROC Diocese of the UOC, Metropolitan Bartholomew, Vladyka Pimen extended blessed letters to the hardcore believers of the UOC religious community in the village of Riasniki and thanked for their faithfulness to the Church of Christ.

In his speech to those present, the Bishop said, “Today is Sunday of the Last Judgment and I say – do not be afraid, it will not be horrific for everyone but for those people who have forgotten about the eternal teaching of Christ: do not kill, do not steal, help the sick and needy, love one another, do not knock the doors to the House of God but come in with awe and repentance."

Believers of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Riasniki village have been upholding the right to pray in their temple for six years, longer than other communities affected by the UOC-KP and the OCU. Over this time, supporters of the OCU have twice seized the temple, with the leaders of the regional level having twice issued orders for alternate services in the shrine. A large community survived dozens of litigations that made decisions both in their favor and in favor of the OCU. Now, in order to prevent the activists of the OCU, who are few in the village, from taking over the church, the UOC believers have established round-the-clock vigil of their church: at night – men are on guard duty and during the day time – women.

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