UOC priest in Mnishin: After church seizure they hung flag in place of icon

Archpriest Vladimir Furmanchuk, rector of the seized UOC church in Mnishin. Photo: a screenshot / YouTube / Orthodox Journalist

In Mnyshyn, UOC parishioners are not allowed into the church taken from them even to take their belongings.

When OCU supporters seized the Holy Intercession Church in the village of Mnishin of the Goshcha district, Rivne region, they removed the icon of the Theotokos and hung a flag instead of the icon. The rector, Archpriest Vladimir Furmanchuk, who today, together with the parishioners, tried to get into the seized church of the UOC, spoke about this in a video published on the “Orthodox Journalist” YouTube channel.

“The church was seized twice, our people were beaten,” the priest noted. “Now they go unpunished and laugh, hiring lawyers. On the church, there was an icon of the Intercession of the Theotokos because the church is Holy Intercession. They removed the icon and hung up the flag. Then the flag was hung on the post, but there is still no icon ... They burned all things: our vestments, which were probably from the very beginning of the construction of the temple, everything that was kept in the belfry and in the altar was burned."

Father Vladimir spoke about the order of the Regional State Administration, on the basis of which the believers of the UOC tried to get to their church today.

“The OCU community went to the regional administration and was given that order without us,” the priest commented on the events of 2019. “We found out about it when the locks were cut off, our people were beaten, and the temple was seized. We pray, we ask God to forgive these people so that they will bring repentance. Because the Lord did not come to this earth to destroy people but to save sinners."

One of the parishioners of the seized church in Mnishin added that their large community does not fit in a small house adapted for worship.

“We are not allowed into the seized church, they do not let us take our things. We hold services in a small house. (...) If there is a funeral, christening, wedding, it is impossible to hold them in the house. It is inconvenient because there are many of us and there isn’t enough room for everybody, but we try to perform services constantly,” said the UOC believer.

We recall that on August 14, 2020, following the example of the OCU activists in Riasnyky, the believers of the UOC as an experiment came to the seized church in Mnishin with an order from the ex-head of the Rivne Regional State Administration Alexei Muliarenko on alternate divine services. The supporters of the OCU did not allow believers to enter their church.

As reported, on March 24, 2019, representatives of the UOC-KP and the Right Sector activists tried to seize the Holy Intercession Church of the UOC in Mnishin. They motivated their intentions by the order on alternate services, which had been previously issued by the head of the local Regional State Administration. Then law enforcement officers prevented the raiders from hanging their locks on the temple, but on May 12, the OCU activists beat the parishioners and seized the Holy Intercession Church of the UOC.

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