Rector: There have been many attempts to seize temple in Pryputni
According to Fr Sergiy, there have been attempts to seize the temple in Pryputni before, including with the help of threats.
The Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the village of Pryputni, Chernihiv region, seized by unknown people on April 4, has been subjected to seizure attempts before, said the rector of the temple, Father Sergiy, to "1Kozaktv".
According to the clergyman, they have tried to take over the church about a dozen times. “This was done in different forms. They even came home and intimidated,” the rector said.
The first attempt took place on September 19, 2019, when a group of unknown persons led by the "cleric" of the OCU Leonty announced that the shrine now belonged to them.
Father Sergiy noted that the UOC community had not been able to obtain the necessary documents for the temple and land.
“There are documents for the church, but they are old. There is no privatization either, ”the priest said. "The old government did not allow us to do this, everyone turned away from us."
He added that the supporters of the OCU do not have the right to the temple since they also do not have documents for the building of the church and for the land. “They were able to have only the postal address registered by deception,” said Father Sergiy.
Also, the priest told the details of the seizure of the temple on April 4. According to him, unknown persons had replaced the locks in the building the night before.
“We haven't seen that. On Saturday, I personally closed the church. And already on Sunday, when we went to the Divine Liturgy, we saw strangers rising to the church. The cars stood aside so as not to alarm us,” the priest said.
The unknown people left the church 20 minutes later, although not all of their supporters had time to arrive, the rector emphasized.
“It was prepared in secret. But 11 cars and about 20 people arrived from their side,” said Father Sergiy. “After the prayer, the invaders tried to set a provocation. We turned to the headman and parishioners. They called me an FSB agent and said offensive things."
The priest stressed that the organizers of the seizure had brought “strangers” to the village, some of them were in military uniform.
Earlier, Fr Sergiy said that the religious community of the UOC in the village of Pryputni has about 500 people, and only 37 activists voted for the "transfer" of the church to the OCU.