Abbot of the Holy Dormition Monastery of Odessa: We received threats

Archbishop Viktor (Bykov), abbot of the Holy Dormition Monastery of Odessa. Photo: a screenshot of the video on the Odessa Eparchy YouTube channel.

Vladyka Victor said that before the fire that broke out on the feast eve, the Dormition Monastery and the clergy of the UOC received threats.

Following the fire in the territory of the Holy Dormition Monastery of the UOC in Odessa, its abbot, Archbishop Viktor (Bykov), requested the authorities to pay attention to the threats the monastery received before the incident.

“Today I would like to turn to the local authorities, to the regional authorities, to the authorities of our country so that this fact is taken into account because there are a lot of messages over several months in the comments to various videos in which the eparchy covers its social and charitable activity that this monastery should be burned; the clergy of the Odessa Eparchy received various threats,” said the abbot of the monastery on the YouTube channel of the Odessa Eparchy.

When the fire started, there were no outsiders in the monastery, said Vladyka Viktor. To avoid a large crowd of people during the quarantine but not to violate the tradition of the cross procession with the miraculous “Kaspersky” Icon of the Mother of God, the monastery decided to perform all services at night, in private.

According to the hierarch of the UOC, despite the incident, there is no reason to be discouraged.

“We are very sorry that through evil people the Lord allowed this in our monastery. But we also hope for the mercy of God. Our hearts are not discouraged, they thank the Lord for the mercy of God,” the abbot of the monastery told the reporters. “Any sorrow is God’s providence. I hope that the Lord will give us further strength to take in a Christian way the trial the Lord has given us.”

Archbishop Viktor thanked everyone who supported the brethren – the monastery received a huge number of letters with words of support and comfort.

The bishop also noted that before the fire broke out at the Dormition Monastery, there had been 3 more arsons of churches and monasteries of the UOC over the past few days, which can be seen as a directed action.

“I really want to live in a peaceful country under a peaceful sky, and I pray about it every day. And I want to ask you all to pray. Because if one person prays, the Lord will accept this prayer but not so soon. And if we all come together with one mouth, one heart, one hope for the Lord, if we join our forces, both spiritual and physical, the Lord will certainly help us,” the abbot of the Holy Dormition Monastery stressed.

He wished the flock that in spite of everything the joy of the Risen Christ did not cease in their hearts.

On the night of April 24, 2020, a fire broke out on the territory of the Holy Dormition Monastery of the UOC in Odessa, which lasted about 3 hours. Representatives of the Odessa Eparchy almost immediately began to stream from the scene, during which they talked with witnesses, who first heard the explosion and then saw a suspicious man running away from the monastery with a bag or packet in his hands.

The head of the Main Directorate of the National Police of Ukraine in the Odessa region Oleg Bekh said that in this situation there is every reason to consider the version of arson.

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