Baranovka: Chronicles of the failed assault on UOC temple
Cut-off doors, beaten parishioners, crosses stripped from priests and monks, torn clothes and total hatred for UOC believers — this was the attempt to seize the temple.
On March 10, 2019, in the town of Baranovka, Zhitomir region, extraordinary events took place. Despite the fact that the large community of the UOC church unanimously expressed its loyalty to the UOC led by His Beatitude Onufriy, the local authorities organized another, territorially “patriotic” community, which includes town residents but not a single parishioner.
These people were provoked to storm and seize the temple.
On Forgiveness Sunday, the Radical Party deputy Oleg Kovalsky convened a town’s meeting (“veche”) on the main square, in which he called upon those gathered to take over the Church of the Nativity of the Most Holy Theotokos. As a result, the crowd, fueled with “correct” incitement, rushed to the temple. Parishioners were beaten, dragged from the porch and thrown out of the church fence. At that time, about 150 parishioners locked inside after the Sunday Liturgy, many were with their children.
Though the raiders cut the doors with a grinder, they did not manage to break in. Late in the evening, the ruling bishop of the Zhitomir Eparchy, Metropolitan Nikodim, came to support his flock. The doors were welded back, the parishioners withstood the assault.