Met. Sergius: 25 temples taken away from us, but not a single priest left
Believers of the canonical Church try to be at peace not only among themselves but also with those who illegally took their temples from them, said Metropolitan Sergius.
More than 25 churches of the UOC have been seized in the Ternopil Eparchy, but not a single cleric of the Diocese left the canonical Church, Metropolitan Sergius (Gensitsky) of Ternopil and Kremenets said on the air of the program Stained Glass: About Faith in Colors.
“We thank God that though more than 25 churches have taken away from the UOC, all the priests remained faithful to the Church of Christ with their faithful flock to continue their ministry in any conditions,” said Met. Sergius. “And the most important thing – May God preserve it further – they try to be at peace not only among themselves but also with those through whom the enemy deprived them of their temple.”
According to the ruling bishop of the Ternopil Eparchy, persecution has strengthened the faith of his clergy and parishioners.
“People understood that it was impossible to stay in those temples, because the peace of God was lost there. The assaulters succumbed to the influence of the evil one, which manifests itself though their misdeeds. Therefore, faithful people acted according to the words of the prophet David: ‘depart from evil and do good’ (Psalm 33:15),” the UOC hierarch noted.
He emphasized that his flock was able to preserve the main thing – their inner and church peace and the opportunity, albeit having lost the temple, to perform divine services with believers being "in the peace, in the unity that are only possible under the circumstances."
People support each other very much, they are not embittered, which confirms that they live by the grace of God, the hierarch explained.
“We thank God that we have such people, such priests. It means the Lord is alive! The faith is alive!” concluded the Metropolitan.
Earlier, the UOJ told about the fate of the religious community of the UOC in the village of Bashuky, Ternopil region, in which in the summer of 2015, activists of the "Right Sector" took over the temple.