Kyiv region: OCU raiders seize UOC church in Ivankiv

UOC believers praying in front of the temple. Photo:

Cutting off the locks with a grinder, "overjoyed atheists without a cross around their necks" broke into the church, desecrating the altar and throne with their hands.

On 21 May 2022, raiders from the OCU seized the UOC Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the village of Ivankiv, Kyiv region, relying on illegal decisions to re-register the church, with the support of the police and the military, as reported on the Zvirynets Monastery’s Facebook page.

"Two days ago, the state registrar absolutely illegally signed the documents on the transfer of the UOC to the OCU. Without a meeting of the existing community, without asking the people. They were kicked out. Kicked out cynically. Yesterday a crowd accompanied by the police, the military and a "priest" with a cross around his neck broke down the gate, shouting slogans. He is not local. He has fled from the south of the country. There's a war there, it's terrifying. But it is quiet here and one can take someone else's temple," says the Zvirynets Monastery. 

It is noted that the "priest", presenting his totally illegal documents, accompanied by the police, started cutting off the locks.

"Archbishop Kassian of Ivankiv came to support his flock prayerfully and stand with them to the end. He appealed to the 'God-fighting brother', asking him to stop. But in response he received insults, humiliation and grabbing at his vestments. Representatives of the law enforcement agencies and the military began to use physical force against the women, who tried to stop the lawlessness," the statement said.

Further, having cut off the locks with a grinder, "overjoyed atheists without a cross around their necks," shouting slogans and words towards the UOC believers and the priest, stormed into the church, desecrating the altar and the throne with their hands.

The Zvirynets Monastery noted that human rights activists contributed to this lawlessness.

"One of the representatives of the police pretended that he had arranged to seal the church with the head of the Ivankiv OTG (united territorial community) T. M. Sviridenko, to which she promised the police to do everything, but having closed the door behind them, freely decided that the church would not be sealed, and representatives of the OCU would serve there. Both the church community and Archimandrite Longin were thrown out into the street. Without the right to take their vestments," the monastery noted.

As earlier reported, supporters of the OCU started to seize a UOC church in Ivankiv, Kyiv region.

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