Soldier Care sector: No UOC temples left in military units under Poroshenko

Archpriest Vyacheslav Yakovenko, head of the care sector for soldiers-internationalists and combatants at the UOC. Photo: a video screenshot from the "1Kozak" channel.

The previous authorities violated the rights of UOC parishioners, while the current one chose a tactic of tacit consent to the ongoing lawlessness, the UOC cleric said.

The Ukrainian Orthodox Church has lost all temples in military units, educational institutions and hospitals, but continues to pray and support its parishioners in the zone of Joint Forces Operation (OOS), Archpriest Viacheslav Yakovenko, rector of All Saints Church in Kyiv, a member of the Union of Afghan Veterans and the head of the Care Sector for soldiers-internationalists and combatants of the UOC Synod Department for interaction with the armed forces and other military formations of Ukraine, said in the commentary to the "1Kozak" channel.

According to the clergyman, for all this time he has never seen the strategy of the unification of the state and the Ukrainian people, but "was faced with the fact that, for example, in the Luhansk region, in order to put a check that there is a church of the OCU, administrative resources were used and it was built. Well, it is closed, but it is checked off that there are their representatives there, so to speak.”

At the same time, he noted, people continue to be divided by telepropaganda, so "you come to such conclusions that you would not like to come to: no one needs a strong Ukraine, even those in power. For it to be strong, there has to be people's unity".

"With the blessing of His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry, since 2015 we’ve always driven around the whole war zone with the Graceful Jerusalem Fire,” said Fr. Viacheslav, who headed the spiritual mission in the ATO zone. “Nobody cancelled the feast, and everyone did everything possible to support and encourage the soldiers in the Resurrection of Christ. But this year due to the quarantine the mission, unfortunately, was cancelled. All we as a community could do was to collect Easter gifts and send them to boarding schools. Also, we sent greetings to the servicemen and commanders with whom we communicate. Unfortunately, under Poroshenko, laws were passed that did not allow us to visit military units, we lost all the temples that were in military units, educational institutions, hospitals, but we still pray for our soldiers because we understand that they always need help <...> As they said in Soviet times, there are no atheists in trenches.

The clergyman stressed that everyone wants peace, but "as long as we find out who is right, who is to blame – there will be no peace".

"If the authorities under Poroshenko behaved rudely, trampling all the legal rights of citizens, parishioners of the UOC, the current government has taken a position not to interfere but did not cancel what was done wrong. That is, it is such a tacit consent to the disorder, which, unfortunately, continues. <...> If there is a spiritual unity, everything will be fine," added the head of the Care Sector for soldiers-internationalists and combatants at the UOC.

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