Raiders of OCU in Cherniakhiv village assisted by police seize UOC temple
Activists of the OCU have seized St. Demetrius’s Church (UOC) in the village of Cherniakhiv, Kyiv region, with the police using force against the rector and believers.
On 30 May 2023, OCU raiders forcefully seized the Church of the Holy Great Martyr Demetrius of Thessaloniki in the village of Cherniakhiv, Kyiv region, the rector of the church, Archpriest Mykhailo Hlushchak, told the UOJ.
The priest said that the OCU activists cut off the locks from the temple's doors with a grinder without waiting for the court's decision on the case of illegal re-registration of the shrine.
"The court session was held on April 30 at 16:00. They considered our claim about the illegal re-registration of the shrine. The court rejected it. They (raiders of the OCU - Ed.) did not wait for the court decision and the night before they cut the locks, put new ones, and put their territorial defence members and police near the temple," he said.
According to the archpriest, the police did not react in any way to the aggressive actions of the supporters of the OCU, but on the contrary – helped the raiders and used force against the parishioners of the temple.
"The police personally used force on me. When I asked the investigative team to let me into the temple to collect my personal belongings, they took me by the neck and pulled me. The police helped them. They even used force on a 90-year-old woman. They tried to force other community members into a car and take me to the police station. Women were dragged away," Fr Michael added.
The rector of the temple also said he would file a statement with the State Bureau of Investigations (GBR) against the police officers.
"When I called the operational group, they arrived but didn't want to do anything, they did not even question me. The investigators didn't provide me with any protocols to sign; they only interrogated activists of the OCU," he added.
Fr Mykhailo also mentioned that now the church is sealed off and the "priests" of the OCU have closed the shrine and do not conduct any "worship services" there.
As reported, an OCU "priest" was caught breaking into a UOC church in Dumenko's home village.