In Volyn, OCU takes away the church while its rector is fighting in AFU

10 May 20:43
Archpriest Yuri Zarafutdinov. Photo: the priest's Facebook page Archpriest Yuri Zarafutdinov. Photo: the priest's Facebook page

Archpriest Yuri Zarafutdinov urged the country's authorities not to divide Ukrainians on religious grounds and to ensure the rights and freedoms of his parishioners.

In the village of Borochyche, Lutsk district, Volyn region, supporters of the OCU are collecting signatures for the transfer to their organization of the St. Elias parish of the UOC, the rector of which, Archpriest Yuri Zarafutdinov, is fighting at the front in the ranks of the 24th separate mechanized brigade. The priest wrote about this on his Facebook page.

He recalled that since 2014, the St. Elias community has helped the defenders of Ukraine. Since the beginning of the full-scale war, Father Yuriy has been actively volunteering in support of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, and when he was drafted into the army, he became a soldier.

“I did and do all this for the sake of protecting my Ukraine,” the priest writes. “Every volunteer, every fighter clearly knows and sees what he is fighting for. Because he believes that Ukraine is a country of free, sincere, equal people. Where there is a rule of law, where human freedoms are unshakable. Among such freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution of Ukraine is the freedom of religion. Everyone has the right to believe, as his mother-father taught him. However, while I am at the front, the propagandists of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, having proclaimed themselves the only patriots of Ukraine, are planning to take the church away from the community of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in our village.”

Father Yuri noted that the rural community of the OCU has its own temple, but the Dumenkovites, capitalizing on the feelings of people, want to take over the temple of the UOC.

“Rear activists hide behind laws, but in fact one religious community collects signatures to take the temple from another community. In this regard, I, my family, all the believers of the UOC have questions to the President, the Verkhovna Rada, the Cabinet of Ministers, to the Service for Religious Affairs of Mr. Yelensky: what country are the believers of the UOC fighting for, if their right of faith is trampled on? Is this equality? While fighters are at the front, you declare them enemies and take away their right to worship? What country are they dying for then?” the priest questions.

He noted that representatives of the OCU “in all their sermons right and left stigmatize the faithful of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, who are dying on the front lines for their Motherland, as enemies.”

“I, a fighter of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, ask the legislative and executive authorities to ensure the rights and freedoms of mine, my family and parishioners of the St. Elias Church of the UOC in Borochyche. Do not dishonor my free country. Do not encourage religious confrontations: we are all for Ukraine. Do not divide the citizens of Ukraine on the grounds of faith by saying that these Ukrainians are better and these are worse,” the archpriest emphasized.

As the UOJ wrote, the deputies of the Lutsk City Council instructed the Department of Urban Development and Land Resources to immediately conduct an inventory of land plots and structures in the city being in use by the UOC and prepare draft decisions on the termination of the right to use this property.

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