On Saturday, September 13, 2019, in the village of Priputni, Ichnia District, visiting activists of the OCU, led by hieromonk Leonty, who was earlier banned from priesthood, cut down locks at the local temple and beat parishioners who had been trying to prevent their illegal actions. This was reported by the press service of the Nezhin Eparchy.
Supporters of the newly formed church structure came up to the temple with their lawyer. Having no legal grounds to claim the church premises, they convinced law enforcement officials of the opposite and with their assistance cut off the locks. When the local priest and parishioners tried to prevent this, the raiders used physical force against the believers.
As a result of the beating, a parishioner of the UOC was hospitalized with bruises of various degrees and suspected concussion. Why the police, who were present at the scene of the incident, allowed such actions is now being investigated.
“The events in Priputni once again proved that the “OCU” followers in Chernigov region are faced up with a deep crisis. After all, the very handful of several fringe-looking elements, who go on regular raider tours throughout the region, arrived to break the temple’s doors,” the diocesan press service emphasized.
Subsequently, the law enforcement officers found that Leonty did not have any property rights to the temple and he had simply cheated them. Moreover, on the basis of his statements, a complaint was filed with the investigating authorities about the falsification of documents made by regional officials: a month ago, the deputy head of the Chernigov Regional State Administration, N. Romanova, informed in writing that the documents sent to her for transferring the parish in Priputni to the OCU would not be considered, since they are based on the results of a fictitious assembly and do not meet the necessary standards.
Also, all those present were informed that the main initiator of the seizure of the UOC church – hieromonk Leonty – was banned from priesthood after the Nezhin city court had sentenced him under the criminal article to 5 years in prison, with a correctional term of up to three years.
As a result, the clergy of the Nezhin eparchy held a worship service in the damaged temple and repaired the door locks, while the schismatics, according to the village residents, went to drink alcohol.