Believers of the seized UOC temple in Buderazh celebrate patronal feast
Divine Liturgy in a tent – this is how the parishioners of the Holy Protection church, which was grabbed by supporters of the OCU, celebrated their patronal feast day.
On October 14, 2020, on the holiday of the Protection of the Most Holy Theotokos, the UOC community in the village of Buderazh, Zdolbuniv District, Rivne Region, celebrated their patronal holiday. Clergy and pilgrims from neighboring villages came to share the celebration with the believers, the UOJ correspondent reports.
The festive service was performed in a tent set up near the church, unlawfully seized by supporters of the OCU.
“Today there was so much joy, as if it were Easter,” said parishioner Iryna Tikhonyuk. “The temple was overcrowded. It seemed that the whole autumn nature, painted with the flowers of the Kingdom of Heaven, was rejoicing. Both the priests and people experienced a special exaltation on this day. Of course, we are saddened that our church was taken away from us, but we all remained faithful to Christ and His Church, apparently that is why we rejoice. "
The ancient church in Buderazh was seized by the OCU activists in several stages: in May 2019, there was the first attempt to break into the church by force, but the believers of the UOC defended it and did not even let the raiders into the churchyard. Since then, the Holy Intercession temple remained closed until October 2019, when the former head of the Zdolbuniv Regional State Administration, Sergei Kondrachuk, broke the doors of the House of God with a crowbar, opening it for the members of the OCU.
“After these events, the UOC community had to put up a tent near the church, because people have to pray somewhere,” Archpriest Vasily Nachev explained. “Since the beginning of confessional confrontations, all branches of government pretend that the UOC community does not exist, and they are not allowed to register officially. How can this happen in a society with the rule of law? "
Recently, the Department of Culture in the Rivne region gave official permission for the restoration of the Holy Protection church in the village of Buderazh, but not to the OCU community, but to the Buderazh village council.
In turn, village officials supported the initiative from above and on October 9, 2020, they gave the OCU community permission to produce technical documentation for the privatization of the land under the Holy Protection church.
“Both documents are a beautiful illustration of what is actually happening in Ukrainian society and how the constitutional rights of believers of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church are being violated,” said Archpriest Vasily Nachev.
As reported by the UOJ, earlier in Buderazh, an OCU activist beat a fellow villager because his wife went to the UOC temple.