In Gribovitsa (Volyn region) the house of the priest of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church was damaged by vandals.

On April 8, 2016 Igor Margita, the prior of the St. – Pokrovsky church, found a dirty stain on the wall of his house which also covered a part of the window, as reports the Union of the Orthodox Journalists. Later, on April 12 in his courtyard the remains of feathers were discovered on the doorstep and fish in the mailbox and on the road by the fence.

It wasn’t the first act of vandalism, there had already been another one three weeks earlier on March 17. At that time the priest didn’t address this issue to the media, however the day before the arrival to the village of the correspondent of the Union of the Orthodox Journalists the attackers decided to add elements of the occult to the throwing of dirt .

The active members of the Kyiv Patriarchate broke into St. – Pokrovsky church in September 2015. Starting from the date of the first public attack on the community of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church until December 6 the temple remained sealed until the newly elected chairman of the village council Paul Stepanets with other supporters of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church- Kyiv Patriarchate broke the seals and illegally changed the locks.

Since winter the community of the Kyiv Patriarchate holds service in St. – Pokrovsky church and the community of the Ukranian Orthodox Church holds service at the vicarage.

The fact that the head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church community remains in Gribovitsa is the last factor that prevents Kyiv Patriarchate from getting possession of the premises. The priest that has been living in the village for more than 15 years didn’t privatize it.

The criminal case on the seizure of the St. – Pokrovsky church in Gribovitsa was dismissed for the second time by the regional law enforcement officers. The Court of Appeal of Volyn ordered to resume the investigation. Re-closure of the case was once again challenged in court by the Ukrainian Orthodox Church community.
On April 13 at 12.00 A.M. the first hearing will be held.

Photo documents from the Union of the Orthodox Journalists

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