UOC rep speaks about Cypriot priest’s reaction to situation in Michalcha

The Holy Dormition Church in the village of Mikhalcha, Chernivtsi region. Photo: vz.ua

Orthodox brethren from the Cypriot Church are shocked by the video of an attempted seizure of the Holy Dormition Church of the UOC in Mikhalcha on December 12.

Archpriest Nikolai Danilevich, Deputy Head of the UOC Department for External Church Relations, conveyed to the Orthodox believers of Mikhalcha of the Storozhinets District, Chernivtsi Region, an appeal from a priest of the Orthodox Church of Cyprus in connection with the events taking place in their village.

“Today, a priest from Cyprus I know, seeing the information and a video of an attempted seizure of your temple on the Internet, wrote me the words that I think you need to know because, although they were written to me, they are actually addressed to you,” wrote the spokesperson for the UOC on his Telegram channel, addressing the believers of Mikhalcha. “Although I don’t know any of you, I’m sure that someone will pass on to you those words and empathy of our Orthodox brothers from Cyprus through social networks.”

Further, Archpriest Nikolai cited a message he received from a priest of the Orthodox Church of Cyprus.

“We saw a shocking video of the seizure of an Orthodox church in Chernivtsi. The figures of these Orthodox Christians rise like majestic cathedrals in front of the throne of God, because those who are expelled from their temples, their souls automatically become temples of God! Antichrists cannot live and see many believing people, and therefore they seize that present and true to receive that true price and honour themselves! Many who live and will live to see how the Church falls! But none of those who have lived on Earth has not seen yet how the Church fell!

The common chalice and the actual Sacraments of our Church unite all of us throughout the world. Although we are far from you geographically, we are next to you in a single bowl through which we embrace you.

We always commemorate at the offertory all persecuted Christians who do not have an altar, and we pray that our altar will become theirs, too. We are near them in spirit, and their consolation is their communion with all the Orthodoxy of truth, faith and true love,” wrote the Cypriot priest.

As reported, on a Saturday morning, December 12, 2020, raiders from the OCU made another attack on the Holy Dormition Church of the UOC in Mikhalcha. Before the arrival of the police, OCU activists, most of whom were specially brought to Mikhalcha to seize the church, tried to enter the temple through the forechurch but failed to get inside.

Mikhalcha Orthodox believers said that the raiders who came to the temple with brass knuckles, bats, tear gas and smoke bombs, broke the video cameras installed on the temple grounds, and damaged the alarm and warning system. In addition, during the storming of the temple, supporters of the OCU attacked the rector. The OCU representatives, however, said that in Mikhalcha people with bats and brass knuckles "came to pray".

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How has your life changed since the outbreak of war?
It hasn't changed in any way
My church has been seized by OCU members
My church has been damaged/destroyed by shelling
I'm going to another church because of displacement
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