On December 8, 2019, in the village of Griniava of the Verkhovyna disrict, Ivano-Frankovsk region (Ukraine), OCU supporters took over the Holy Dormition Church of the UOC, reports the press service of the eparchy.
The seizure took place two hours after the end of Sunday’s service, when the parishioners had already dispersed. The rector of the church, Archpriest Mikhail Dutchak, learned that the village council had gathered about twenty ATO members, who had been brought from the area.
The priest managed to gather a few parishioners, but they were not able to counteract the newcomers. Having used physical force, people in camouflage, with some of whom wearing balaclavas, broke into the temple.
It is known that the raiders stated that the community of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church was re-registered to the OCU and that is why this structure considers itself the owner of the church.
The Ivano-Frankovsk eparchy reported that in November this year local authorities illegally registered the UOC community to the OCU. The re-registration took place after a meeting of the territorial community, which was not attended by representatives of the UOC religious community. The faithful communities held a legal meeting of their parish, where they decided to stay in the UOC, but the authorities considered the village gathering where the decision to move to the OCU was made to be legal.
There is also an unfinished OCU church in Griniava village but until recently there has been no officially registered community of this newly established religious organization.
According to the eparchial administration, the UOC community has a temple complex, which includes not only the Holy Dormition Church but also the All Saints of Kiev Caves Church, which the raiders failed to enter.