Ptycha community: After 6 years of persecution we remain faithful to UOC
The parishioners of the persecuted UOC community in Ptycha detailed the seizure of the church 6 years ago and asked to return the temple to the legal community.
On February 22, 2021, at the Congress of the persecuted communities "Faithful", which took place at the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra, parishioners from vlg. Ptycha, Rivne region, said that despite persecution by the OCU, the community remained loyal to His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry and the UOC.
According to Maria Formanets, a parishioner of the Ptycha community, the authorities in the village fully support the schismatics, allowing them to seize the temple. The UOC community won all the courts for the church but was forced to pray first in the garage and then in a priavte house adjusted for religious needs. The parishioner asked the authorities respect the laws and treat the believers of the UOC as full-fledged citizens of Ukraine.
“The confrontation in our village has been going on since November 2, 2014. We defended the temple for three and a half years. Men were on duty near the temple, we were in the temple itself. Our community won all the courts. The authorities do not hear us and stands on the side of the UOC-KP (now it is the OCU – Ed.). Now the temple is occupied by schismatics, we pray in the house. We want only one thing from the authorities – not to interfere with us. Let the state remain a state, and let us decide on the church issues. If we are law-abiding citizens of our Ukraine, then please – obey the law. If we won the judgment, then give us the opportunity to pray in our temple. We don't want anything else from the state – just not to interfere with us and to execute the court decisions. No matter how many confrontations we had, how much we survived, how many attacks there were, not a single person from our community moved to the UOC-KP. Our community has remained faithful to His Beatitude Onuphry, ”said Maria Formanets at the Congress of the persecuted communities “Faithful”.
Another parishioner from the village of Ptycha told the details of the seizure of the temple, which took place with the tacit consent of the police.
“We set up a tent near the church and were on guard there. And the night they finally seized the temple, I was on duty with three men. The police were there too. Then, quietly, 15 strangers entered from behind, 15 more entered from the side of the road. There is a video of them cutting the locks. There were about 30 of them in total. Two of our women who were in the temple were thrown out. And since then they (schismatics – Ed.) are already in the church. And for 6 years we served in Fr. Nikolai’s garage (former rector Archpriest Nikolai Sysoniuk – Ed.), and now we are given a house, we equipped it and have been holding services there since autumn," he said.
Maria Formanets also added that despite all the persecution of believers of the UOC in Ptycha, not a single person left the community to join the schismatics. All members of the parish remain faithful to the canonical Church, headed by His Beatitude Onuphry.