Hostomel: Armed men attempt to seize Intercession Church of UOC
In Hostomel, people in military uniforms with guns broke into the church after the liturgy, provoking the сommunity and demanding that the temple be given to the OCU.
On September 25, 2022, at the end of the liturgy, people who called themselves "authorized by the OCU" came to the Intercession Church (UOC) in Hostomel, Kyiv region, and demanded that the rector, archpriest Petro Pavlenko, give them the keys to the building. Some of the men were wearing military uniforms and had machine guns. Among them were two "priests" of the OCU, reports a UOJ source in Hostomel.
Having stormed the temple, the raiders said that they had the documents for the right of ownership of the building.
By the time they seized the church, the parishioners had already dispersed, leaving only a few women to read an akathist. The attackers snatched the texts of the akathist from their hands, saying "Get out of here". When the worshippers asked to allow them to finish reading the akathist, they were called provocateurs.
According to the source, the raiders refused to identify themselves and had never been to the church before.
When rector came out of the altar, having heard the noise, the radicals began to provoke him, accusing him of "collaborating with the occupiers", burning the church and stealing the iconostasis. "After the war began, the church was really on fire because shrapnel had broken the wiring," the UOJ source explained.
Father Petro did not leave the church when Russian troops entered Hostomel but stayed and defended it. This was blamed on him by the OCU raiders. In addition, they were outraged by the fact that the service in the temple was conducted "in the Russian language”.
In response to the attempts of the parishioners to stop the seizure, the raiders threatened and intimidated them, speaking in an extremely aggressive manner.
The parishioners called the police. As a result, the law enforcers and representatives of the defence forces sealed the church. The military put their seals next to those of the police.
Back in the summer, the religious community of the Intercession Church at its meeting confirmed its faithfulness to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. The OCU also held a "meeting", which was not announced in advance and to which, according to the source, some 300 soldiers were brought for the mass.
The UOC Intercession community plans to seek justice in court.
One of the participants in the seizure, Vitaliy Kupriy, posted a video of the events on Facebook. Kupriy is an advisor to the commander of the Ukrainian TRO (territorial defence forces) and deputy commander of the TRO battalion.
As the UOJ wrote, OCU raiders cut down trees on the territory of the seized church in Kolodne.