Four churches of the canonical Church have been attacked in Rovno region in Ukraine
May 12, 2019 – In the last two days, worship buildings of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church have been attacked in four villages of the region by the supporters of the newly formed and State backed religious organization, according to Informational and Educational website Orthodox Life (“Pravolsavnaya Zhizn”) that functions with the blessing of the head of Ukrainian Orthodox Church1, His Beatitude Metropolitan of Kiev and All Ukraine Onuphrius.
On 12 May, the church of the Protecting Veil was captured in the Mnishin village, Goshcha district, Rovno region. In the morning, OCU2 supporters blocked the gates and kept out parishioners who came for the service, including the rector of the church, Archpriest Vladimir Furmanchuk. A fight followed, with church raiders not hesitating to push and beat women. Some men were seriously injured. The police, who came in response to a call, just looked at what was happening from the side. Eventually, the OCU blocked the passage to the territory and after a brief “prayer” installed their own locks on the door.
On the same day, the St. Nicholas church in the Pevche village, Zdolbunov district, Rovno region, was captured. After the beginning of conflicts provoked by the OCU supporters, an agreement was reached that the church would be closed until the court ruling on its ownership. However, on the Sunday of the Myrrh-Bearing Women, the schismatics violated this agreement, cut off the locks and occupied the building.
The day before, May 11, schismatics attempted to capture the church of the Protecting Veil in the Byderazh village, Zdolbunov district, Rovno region. The raiders came to the church under the pretext that they would conducted “a prayer” and initiated verbal stoushes with parishioners of the canonical Church, while several “activists” crept around the worship building, broke the fence and burst into territory. It was followed by a fight in which law-enforcement officers interfered.
During the night of May 12, the OCU supporters, using a metallic crossbar, blocked the entrance to the temporary church of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church at the Bushcha village, Zdolbunov district, Rovno region. The St. Michael church, which belongs to the canonical church, had already been captured by schismatics last February. Since that time, the faithful of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church have had to worship in the parish house. The faithful and the rector have received regular threats and demands that they should leave the village and stop celebrations.
- Informational and Educational website Orthodox Life (“Pravoslavnaya Zhizn” ) – 13 May 2019, “The supporters of the OCU continue seizing churches in Rovno Diocese of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church”
- Rovno Diocese of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church’s official website – 12 May 2019, “The inter-religious confrontation continues in the village Mnishin of the Goshcha district”
- Rovno Diocese of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church’s official website – 13 May 2019, “Inter-confessional clashes around the St. Nicolas’ Church in the Pevche village, Zdolbunov district”
- Rovno Diocese of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church’s official website – 12 May 2019, “In the village Byderazh of the Zdolbunov district there was an interreligious confrontation”
- Rovno Diocese of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church’s official website – 12 May 2019, “In the village of Bushcha, Zdolbunov district, activists of the OCU closed the door to the church building at a metal bar and prevented UOC believers from conducting Sunday worship”
- The Russian Orthodox Church’s Department for External Church Relations – 15 May 2019, “Churches of the canonical Church have been attacked again in Rovno region in Ukraine”
- April 24, 2019 – The Constitutional Court has opened legal proceedings over a complaint about the discriminatory law against the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
- April 9, 2019 – Problem of violation of the rights of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church’s faithful raised at OSCE meeting
- Apr 3, 2019 – The European Court of Human Rights has opened legal proceedings over a complaint filed by the Ukrainian Orthodox Church community of Ptichya about the confiscation of the church
- The Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate) is an autonomous Orthodox Church with the headquarters in Kiev, Ukraine. It is spiritually and canonically linked with the Russian Orthodox Church.
- Orthodox Church of Ukraine is a religious organization that was formed with an aid of the Presidential Administration of Ukraine and with non-canonical actions of the Constantinople Patriarchate on 15 December 2018. So far, none of the canonical Orthodox Churches has recognised this organization as an Orthodox Church.