Metropolitan Clement details assault on procession in Nizhyn

An attempt by the radicals to interfere with the procession of the UOC in Nizhyn. Photo: orthodox.cn.ua

The police should respond better to a situation when criminal elements impede a legal and peaceful march, said Metropolitan Clement of Nizhyn and Priluki.

It was obvious to all witnesses of the attack on the peaceful procession in Nizhyn where good and evil forces were. Metropolitan Clement (Vecheria) of Nizhyn and Priluki spoke about this in a commentary to the "Dozor" project on the air of the "1Kozak" channel.

The hierarch explained that annually on the day of commemoration of St. John of Tobolsk, believers make a procession along the central streets of Nizhyn with miraculous icons and relics of saints, blessing "the city and streets, all the people who live in our city and come to visit us".

This year, he recalled, about 10–20 radical-minded people tried to block the road to the cross-walkers, including children, the elderly, and people in wheelchairs. Shouting insults, they "started a fight, tore off the cross from the priest, broke the banners with the image of the Savior, one man tried to sprinkle the icons with his filth".

“For those who were present at these events, the difference between the Church and the anti-Church was quite obvious,” explained Metropolitan Clement. “The chief cheerleader of these radicals used a severed hoof instead of hands and tried to hit the priests with it, associating himself with some kind of demonic force. This testifies to the fact that under the guise of national patriots, in fact, clearly anti-Christian forces are opposing the Church."

According to the hierarch, the provocateurs would not have been able to create obstacles for the numerous religious procession but "they just disgraced themselves once again".

At the same time, according to the police, among them were city council deputies, and, as the Metropolitan noted, “these deputies were hardly able to become famous for having done something good for Nizhyn, except that throwing icons with sewage is the brightest thing that they will leave after their political activity”.

As for the actions of law enforcement officers, as the hierarch emphasized, “the police tried to prevent fights, but how much they succeeded is difficult to say, because priests were beaten, several nuns were hit, parishioners were injured. ... Therefore, it would be necessary to respond better to the situation when clearly criminal elements, with some inappropriate behaviour, impede a completely legitimate peaceful religious procession."

The police assured that all participants in the attack on the procession have been identified and will be prosecuted.

At the same time, what happened in Nizhyn did not in the least darken the celebration of the day for the believers but rather strengthened all those present in the faith. And not only the participants but also those who simply saw everything that happened from the outside.

“It was quite obvious where the forces of good and evil were. Naturally, those people who only shout “we are for Ukraine” but have not done anything for Ukraine and instead destroy peace and stability in our city and in Ukraine as a whole, should be held accountable,” the hierarch concluded.

Earlier, the UOC called on the international community to condemn the beating of believers in Nizhyn and the Ukrainian authorities to respond appropriately to the violation of the fundamental rights and freedoms of Ukrainian citizens.

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