Rector of UOC community: Deputy said – the village is transferred to OCU

Priest Alexander Khrustiuk, rector of the UOC community in Kalinovka. Photo: UOJ

The rector of the parish Kalynivka, which is praying near the sealed church pending court decision, recalled the deputies who "moved" the parish to the OCU.

At the congress of the persecuted communities of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church "Faithful", which was held at the Holy Dormition Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra on February 22, the rector of the Holy Protection community of the village of Kalynivka, Zhytomyr region, priest Alexander Khrustiuk, told how in 2019 a local deputy simply confronted him with a fait accompli that the village would decide the fate of the parish.

At that time, the clergyman noted in a commentary to the UOJ, the OCU had been already actively promoted and even imposed.

“Among those who imposed the OCU on people were, first of all, regional deputies,” Fr. Alexander said. “And since we are located close to the regional center, the regional deputies were actively involved in turning people against our Church so that they passed to the OCU. After that, messages began to come from the deputies that it was necessary, as they said, to move to the OCU, since we have a Tomos. Various discussions took place with them on social networks, in which they used manipulations."

The priest added that despite all the discussions, the deputies organized a village meeting in the local official ceremonies house, at the end of which everyone began to decide the fate of the church, and as a result, the territorial community voted to move to the OCU.

“I was warned the night before. At about seven o'clock a deputy came to me and said: tomorrow we will decide the fate of the church in terms of joining the OCU. If you want – come, if you don't want – don't come. I just let you know,” said priest Alexander Khrustiuk.

Note that at present the Holy Protection church in Kalynivka is sealed and its fate is still being decided in the courts. The Orthodox community, on Sundays and holidays, gathers at its walls for prayer.

Recall that the religious conflict in Kalynivka began in March 2019, when the community of the rural church voted for loyalty to the UOC, and activists held a gathering of the village, at which they announced the “transfer” of the community to the OCU.

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