«I drank vodka, and on the storm». Who is behind the attacks on «the temples of Muscovites»

© AFP 2018 / Genya SavilovПолиция at the entrance to the Church in the village Ptich of Rivne region, Ukraine«I drank vodka, and on the storm». Who is behind the attacks on «the temples of Muscovites»© AFP 2018 / Genya Savilov

Church conflict in the Ukraine escalates. Radicals seized the Church of the Dormition in the village of Bird Rivne region, the community which a few years defended the building, both through the court and physically. This is not the first case. The abbots and parishioners told RIA Novosti on who participated in the attacks and why the authorities do not prevent violence.

To not care about the law

The temple in the village of Bird supporters of the self-proclaimed «Kiev Patriarchate» with the support of radicals for the first time attacked in December 2015. Although the attackers were armed with armature, threw «Molotov cocktails» and sprayed pepper gas, parishioners, mostly elderly women, heroically kept the defense. The attackers were locked in a Church for a few months. Christmas and Easter people met locked up.

Footage of the clashes many were shocked as in Ukraine and abroad. The situation in the village of Bird repeatedly discussed at various international venues.

«He arranged for the villagers voting, asking which jurisdiction should go to the temple of the Patriarchate of Moscow or Kyiv. Of course, it was done under pressure because almost every house has someone working in his enterprise, established on a former farm,» he adds.

The villagers were threatened with dismissal if they «will go to the Russian priest» for the service. The father became known as «Moskal» and accused of holding services in Russian language.

«Although the temple since 1992 the service is entirely in the Ukrainian language. We participated in the prayers on Maidan and prayed for those who are in the ATO. And Ukraine we pray. And they nothing else is found, but to accuse us that we «Muscovites», — said the priest.

In the end, 10 September 2014, the businessman together with two villagers cut the door locks and took the temple building. In the village hardly anyone would dare to that, says the priest, adding, «But you know that bottle of vodka you can find volunteers.»

According to Shoemaker, in addition to the building of the temple, the invaders illegally appropriated the land and began to seek eviction of a priest from his own house, «not to make there life». The father is sure that the businessman had bribed the judges. «After every won the case, and he arranged a drinking bout, and on such drinking one of his friends blurts out that he came to the courts with money. And in the village all about each other know all,» he adds.

After two years of litigation, August 31, 2017 bailiffs evicted the priest and his wife. And their two minor sons, according to the court, left.

«Now we are still living with the children in this house. And there we worship, although requested rural Parliament to allocate a prayer space and land for the construction of a new Church. But we were denied. The biggest space I have allocated for the services,» says the Abbot.

However, last year there was a man, «learned about the situation from the Internet». He donated the community house, which is still under construction. In one part of it will live with the family priest and the other to go service, which usually gathers about 20 people. Although on holidays and sometimes 60. Most of the villagers, says the father, is so intimidated that they are afraid to come to him for service.

«And in that Church after the capture started a repair, although it is considered a monument of architecture. I was forbidden to put plastic Windows, but they completely changed the interior! We have all the money you can make. Now no one wants to listen. Well you can see for yourself what we have the power, they allowed all, a mere mortal is nothing!» — he complains.

«Your forces are building a new temple»

In 2014, the UOC-MP has lost across the country, 40 churches. She is more than 12 thousand parishes, and the «Kiev Patriarchate» — five thousand.

In July 2017 the Synod of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church instructed the Synodal Department for socio-humanitarian and charitable Foundation «favor» (created with the blessing of the Primate of the UOC Metropolitan Onufry) to start collecting funds for the construction of new worship buildings for communities who were left without churches.

«In many villages how it all happened? Because of the informational «pumping» the people who the services were there except for Easter, began to demand the transfer of churches to the schismatics. But the real parishioners were not exposed to this propaganda. The result is two camps — some say about the «Muscovites», and answer them about Christ and grace,» explains RIA Novosti the head of the Fund «favor» Artem Aksenov.

Not wanting to exacerbate the conflict, the congregation to voluntarily leave the temples. Usually such communities consist of 40-60 people.

«To avoid war in rural areas, communities are beginning to hold services in any other rooms or to build their temples. But money for it, of course not. And they come to us with a request to somehow help,» says Feldman.

The community of the Church of the Saviour in the village of Khodosy, Rivne region managed to build a new Church. Parishioners call it «our beautiful little Church» or simply «miracle.»

It was members of the party «Freedom» and group «Right sector»*. The parishioners locked themselves in the temple, continuing to pray. Somewhere in the middle of the service, he stormed — literally.

«The doors tried to open with crowbars, and when that doesn’t work, cut a lock with bolt cutters, it is clear that everything is thought out in advance. All these thugs broke into the temple and began to drive out of parishioners and priests, the use of physical force. Some priests were beaten. As soon as the temple was captured, they immediately began to rule «thanksgiving» so-called «priests of the Kiev Patriarchate,» says the priest.

A year and a half the community committed to service in the house, part of which gave for this purpose a single member. Caring people helped to build a new Church. From a bookmark to the consecration of less than one year.

© Photo : provided by the community removemedia the throne in the new temple of the Savior in the village of Khodosy, Rivne region«I drank vodka, and on the storm». Who is behind the attacks on «the temples of Muscovites»© Photo : provided by the community removemedia the throne in the new temple of the Savior in the village of Khodosy, Rivne region

«However, more needs to be done, but we believe that with God’s help will succeed. God sends us people who help us a lot. He will reward them a hundredfold! We do not hate those who took from us the temple, we pray for them, asking the Lord to teach them that their souls returned to the world. They’re like lost sheep, and we want them to come back to his Pastor. And there will be peace in our country and in our hearts!» — believe father Andrew.

*Terrorist and extremist organization banned in Russia.