Rector of new UOC church in Sestriatyn: Those who joined OCU coming back

The rector of the Sestriatyn community, affected by the raiding by the OCU, spoke about the construction of a new church and God's mercy felt by the believers.

Some of those who previously shifted for the OCU are returning to us, Archpriest Vasily Prokaziuk, the rector of the St. Nicholas community of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in the village of Sestriatyn of the Radyvyliv district, Rivne region, told the UOJ correspondent.

On June 23, the new UOC church of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker built in a year by the community which suffered from the raiding by the OCU was consecrated in the village of Sestriatyn. The consecration and the Divine Liturgy were led by the vicar of the Rivne Eparchy Bishop Pimen (Voyat) of Dubno, concelebrated by Metropolitan Bartholomew of Rivne and Ostroh.

The temple was built by the entire religious community, the believers said. The construction began in April 2020 - money for the foundation was allocated by the Kyiv Metropolis. And then donations began to come.

“The land plot for construction was donated by Liubov Zagreba, we finalized the documentation for the construction as it was required,” said Father Vasily. “The Lord showed great mercy to us, we clearly felt it on the example of this construction. Money appeared every time when we really needed it. I have 160 people recorded by name from the surrounding villages, they all invested in this construction. And as long as the church stands, prayers will be offered for them.”

The priest added that the parishioners did not charge a penny for raising the walls of the new church, for the tiles that were laid on the floor, for the meals that the women prepared for the workers throughout the year. Also, an iconostasis worth 200 thousand hryvnias raised by one of the parishioners was installed in the church.

But it was not without problems: supporters of the OCU tried to prevent the construction of the new church of the UOC and wrote a statement to the SBU about the illegal construction. There were all kinds of checks. Now, they say in Sestriatyn, the situation has cleared up, and soon the domes with crosses will decorate the St. Nicholas Church.

“People who left for the OCU are returning to us. So far, there are not many of them, but I believe that soon they will be more those who will wake up and return to the canonical Church,” resumed the rector of the newly built church of the UOC.

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