UOC community in Dilove asks Zelensky to handle situation around temple

The UOC community in the village of Dilove. Photo: a video screenshot of the YouTube channel “Pershy Kabelny”

Parishioners of the Holy Dormition Church of the UOC in Dilove who due to the actions of the OCU supporters celebrated Christmas outdoors ask the authorities for help.

The community of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in the village of Dilove of the Rakhiv district, Transcarpathian region, appealed to President of Ukraine Vladimir Zelensky with a request to intervene in the situation around the Holy Dormition Church so that believers could again freely worship in it. An appeal to the authorities and comments of the parishioners on January 11, 2021, were published by “Pershy Kabelny” ("First Cable").

Earlier, on Christmas Eve, supporters of the OCU, with the assistance of the police, hung their locks on the gates of the church, blocking the entrance for the UOC community. The believers were actually under siege.

“By someone’s will, people at Christmas with their children should stand outside the gates, because someone proves their principles in this way,” said parishioner Natalya Nikoriak. “Dear authorities, I ask you to pay attention to this and respond, open the gates so that people can calmly and freely go to church as it was before.”

About 20 believers of the UOC remain in the church, protecting it from seizure, and dozens of parishioners, along with small children, pray in the street. People emphasize that the whole village was building the temple "not so that we shout, fight, quarrel with each other, but so that we can go there and pray in peace." However, due to the ongoing legal battle, the situation in the village is tense.

“Dear Mr President! Please open a temple for us. The temple is for praying in it, it cannot be closed. We built a temple for this so that Divine services would be held in the church. We ask you to revise all these decisions and respond to our appeal,” the parishioners of the Holy Dormition Church addressed Vladimir Zelensky.

As reported earlier, the supporters of the OCU decided to take away the temple in Dilove from the community of the canonical Church immediately after receiving the Tomos. Having fraudulently seized the statutory documents, with the assistance of local officials, the Holy Dormition Church was illegally re-registered into the OCU. Protracted trials began, which, on the basis of falsified documents, were won by supporters of the Epiphany structure. Believers of the UOC filed a cassation appeal and, awaiting a court decision, remain on the territory of their church for several weeks.

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