OCU clerics and “Right Sector” attempt to seize UOC temple in Zemlianoye

The "clergy" of the church structure of Epiphany Dumenko tried to force the parishioners of the canonical Church in Zemlianoye village to join the OCU. Photo: hromadske.ua

Two “clergymen” of the religious organization led by Epiphany Dumenko tried to take over the Holy Protection church of the UOC in Zemlianoye village.

On June 3, 2020, 2 clerics of the OCU and 2 people who called themselves members of the “Right Sector” attempted a hostile takeover of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church's temple in honor of the Protection of the Mother of God in the village of Zemlianoye, Krasnopillia District, Sumy Region. This was reported on the website of the Sumy Eparchy of the UOC.

The “priests” of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine Ivan Malysh and Igor Khaniukov and their companions broke into the room, which the religious community of the UOC had adapted for worship.

They began to insult Orthodox residents of vlg. Zemlianoye and the rector of the temple of the canonical Church demanding that members of the religious community join the OCU. They also uttered threats for disagreement.

The parishioners of the UOC refused the transition and supported their clergyman; all the goings-on were recorded on camera.

Law enforcement officers also arrived at the scene and just witnessed the unlawful actions of clerics of the OCU and those who called themselves members of the “Right Sector”.

“Once again, a religious organization calling itself the ‘Sumy Diocese of the OCU’ under the direction of ‘Archbishop Methodius’ refuted all statements about its desire for peace with the actions of its staff members and testified to its true intentions, having involved radically-minded people who behaved aggressively,” the Sumy Eparchy of the UOC commented on the incident.

The administration of the Eparchy appealed to all concerned with a request to prayerfully support the religious community of the UOC in honor of the Protection of the Mother of God in Zemlianoye village.

Earlier, the UOJ informed that activists of the OCU made another attempt to seize the temple of the UOC in Luka-Meleshkovskaya.

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