A cleric from the Church of Cyprus visits Orthodox communities in Western Ukraine who had their churches forcibly seized
From 6 to 9 June, 2019 Archimandrite Nektarios (Bakopoulos), Secretary of the Tamassos Eparchy of the Orthodox Church of Cyprus, and accompanied by the Archpriest Mykolay Danylevych, Deputy Chairman of the Department for External Church Relations of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC DECR), visited the parishes from the three Western Ukrainian Eparchies that had suffered as a result of illegal church raids and seizures, as reported on the official website of the UOC DECR.
On June 6, on the Feast day of the Ascension of the Lord, Archimandrite Nektarios, together with Archpriest Mykolay Danylevych, met with believers in the Rivne Eparchy who had suffered as a result of the actions perpetrated by the “OCU” supporters. The guests concelebrated the Divine Liturgy in the church building of the Kopytiv village of Koretskyi rayon, as well as visited the parishes of the villages of Kurozvan, Mnyshyn (Goshanskyi rayon), Pyatyhory, Glynsk (Zdolbunivskyi rayon) and the village of Rozvazh (Ostrohskyi rayon).
On June 7, the clerics visited the Volynska Eparchy. The visit began with a meeting with His Grace Bishop Nafanayil of Volyn and Lutsk. Throughout the day, the guests then visited the Orthodox communities in the villages of Bronytsia, Nuyno and Rakiv of Kamiń-Kashyrskyi rayon, prayerfully supporting the believers and priests who had had their churches forcibly seized; and together with them prayed for peace in Ukraine and for the unity of World Orthodoxy in the makeshift churches that have been christened with the term “church huts”.
On June 8, Archimandrite Nektarios and Archpriest Mykolay visited the three parishes in the Ternopil eparchy, Shumskyi rayon , who also had their churches illegally seized, namely, the parishes in the villages of: Matviyivtsi, Mali Dederkaly and Lyudvyshche.
During the discussions with parishioners from the abovementioned parishes, Archimandrite Nektarios said that he had come to Ukraine to see with his own eyes what he had previously only read about in the mass media, in particular, about life and testament of faith and allegiance to the Church of Ukrainian Orthodox Christians, who had their own churches forcibly seized.
“That is why I’m here among you. In order to look at the situation in Ukraine not via the Internet, but to personally experience, and form personal impressions about the true situation that has developed and pass this experience on to the Christians in Cyprus. To let them know, firsthand, of what is really happening in Ukraine”, – explained the honoured visitor from the Orthodox Church of Cyprus.
The discussions with the victims who had survived the forcible seizure of their churches, bore innumerable insults as well as rejection by fellow villagers, was very warm and exceedingly candid. Believers overtly discussed their pain with the guest from Cyprus, and asked for advice and spiritual support.
- DECR of the UOC – 18 June 2019, Cleric from Church of Cyprus visits Orthodox communities in Western Ukraine who had their churches forcibly seized.
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