Mass media: OCU activists staging takeover of UOC temple in Novozhyvotiv
Believers of the UOC and the police agreed to guard the temple of the canonical Church in Novozhyvotiv, which can be attacked by activists of the OCU.
On July 8, 2020, it became known that activists of the OCU intend to seize the UOC temple in honor of the Protection of the Mother of God in the village of Novozhyvotiv, Vinnytsia Region. Archpriest Dmitry Tsmokalo, dean of the Oratov District of the Vinnytsia Region, told the First Cossack channel about this.
“This morning, I received information that supporters of the OCU want to enter the temple and serve the liturgy there. It means they are going to do it illegally, breaking locks, as they do not have keys to doors,” said Archpriest Dmitry. “We had such an agreement with the police that we wouldn’t go into the temple until the court decides.” For his part, the rector, Father Peter, has been serving in the courtyard for the whole time – this is now one and a half years. Even in the winter he served in the yard.”
The clergyman of the UOC noted that the faithful of the canonical Church performed regular divine services every Sunday and all Twelve Great Feasts outdoors. People prayed in the snow and in the rain.
All this time, activists of the OCU undertook constant provocations and even in the presence of the police shouted threats, tried to pit the villagers against one another, he added. Oleg Chugunkin, head of the district state administration, from the very beginning took the side of the schismatic structure and supported their actions.
“When there were illegal gatherings in March 2019, he attended these gatherings, took part in them,” said Archpriest Dmitry.
In turn, the police take the side of the law and try to prevent any offences, the clergyman said.
He also explained that now that it has become known about the intention of the OCU activists to attack the temple, the faithful of the canonical Church have compiled a list of vigils. Every 5 hours, people will change each other, and the police agreed to be on duty at night, said Archpriest Dmitry.
Earlier, believers in the village of Novozhytiv turned to President of Ukraine Vladimir Zelensky with a request to help resolve the conflict as soon as possible, because “no court wants to take responsibility and, in the name of Ukraine, decide to return the legal right to worship in the Novozhyvotiv church” to the UOC community.