Rivne region: Supporters of OCU seize UOC church in vlg. Bilashiv

Church seizure. Photo: rivne.church.ua

For a month, supporters of the OCU have been regularly threatening the rector, his family and UOC believers in the village of Bilashiv.

In the village of Bilashiv, Rivne region, supporters of the OCU re-registered the Holy Trinity Church of the UOC based on the meeting of the villagers, and took away the keys to the church, reports the press service of the Rivne Eparchy.

On May 21, 2022, there was a clash on the territory of the Holy Trinity Church in the village of Bilashiv, which was provoked by OCU supporters.

"It all started yesterday, I was summoned by the head of the community, Natalia Tymoschuk. She had representatives of the newly created community of the OCU with the documents for the church already made on the basis of the village residents’ meeting," says the rector, Archpriest Valeriy.

According to the rector, in the rector's office several representatives of the OCU demanded the keys to the church, the priest did not have them, so he could not give them.

"And on Saturday morning, the community of the OCU gathered near the church, we called the police, there was the same polemic, they said: 'We have the documents, give us the keys'," Father Valeriy says.

UOC worshippers said that the keys were in the possession of the head of the church, the OCU activists found the man in the village and made him give the keys back.

OCU followers gave 24 hours for the rector and his family to vacate the church house where they had lived for about 20 years.

The situation in Bilashiv has been turbulent for the past month, with regular threats coming from supporters of the OCU towards the rector, his family and the faithful.

As earlier reported, OCU raiders in Bilashiv, Rivne region, are trying to seize the UOC church.

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legal requirement of the state
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mere talk
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