Priest and Nun of Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate murdered in Kiev

July 29, 2015, Kiev priest Roman Nikolayev (Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate), died of gunshot wounds on Wednesday morning at the age of 40.

“The venue of the funeral service and the burial place of the newly departed priest Roman Nikolayev will be reported later,” the Ukrainian Orthodox Church reported on its website.

The priest, who was prior of the Church of Martyr Tatiana in Kiev, was attacked in a residential building on Heroyev Stalinhrada Avenue in Kiev in the early hours of July 26. The attackers fired two shots to his head. The attackers left after the attack and the priest was found on the staircase by his neighbor, who called the police. The attackers did not rob the priest.

Father Roman was in a coma before he died.

The investigative branch of the district department has entered the information into the unified register of pretrial investigations based on Part 2 of Article 115 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine (premeditated murder). A pretrial investigation is underway.

The day before (July 28) sister Alevtina, a nun of Florovsky Convent in Kiev, was found murdered in her apartment as the Ukrainian Orthodox Church reported on its website. Later her nephew found the nun’s body with her hands tied and traces of torture. The late nun was 62 years old.

This is the second murder of a member of the clergy of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate in a few days. The Head of the Russian Orthodox Church Patriarch Kirill has expressed condolences in relation to the deaths of prior of the Church of St. Tatiana in Kiev Father Roman Nikolayev and a nun of Florovsky Convent in Kiev, Sister Alevtina. The text was circulated by the patriarch’s press service.

“It is especially alarming that these outrageous murders of a priest and a nun were committed at the very time when seizures of churches of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church continue, when false charges and threats are voiced in the public space concerning its clergy, monks and laity,” says the patriarch’s message of condolences to Metropolitan of Kiev and All Ukraine Onufry.

The patriarch voiced hope that law enforcers would conduct “an impartial and thorough investigation of the offenses, the offenders will be found and held duly liable.” The document says the Patriarch prays for the souls of the departed, for the strengthening of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and also for saving from evil those who have chosen to dedicate their lives to God.

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