Borzna, Ukraine, July 26, 2018
Ukrainian nationalists-schismatics are no strangers to violence, regularly attacking clergy, parishioners, and churches of the canonical Ukrainian Church because it remains in communion with the rest of the Orthodox world as an autonomous body within the Russian Orthodox Church.
Tensions are rising and violence is ramping up as the celebration of the Baptism of Rus’ approaches, with “competing” cross processions and Divine services between the true Ukrainian Church and the schismatic “Kiev Patriarchate,” and as the schismatics continue to wait in vain for a tomos of autocephaly from the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
As the site of the Nizhyn Diocese of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church reports, the latest violence involves threats against the bishop of the diocese and the children of the diocesan summer camp, and the beating of a journalist who wrote about the camp.
On July 21, a group of drunk men representing the known radical group “Svoboda” broke into the Nizhyn Diocese’s summer camp, although, thankfully, the children had already gone home the day before.
“We can only guess what these pseudo-patriots from Chernigov, some of whom have known criminal pasts, planned to do with the campers,” reads the report on the diocesan website.
Then, on July 24, His Eminence Archbishop Clement of Nizhyn and Priluki received threats from representatives of the same group.
The next day, their threats and failed attempts gave way to violence, when about 30 men with “Svoboda” symbols attacked the editor-in-chief of the newspaper “Borzna News” Sergei Bliznyuka at the district administration office. The journalist was beaten and forced to write a letter of resignation.
Members of the regional administration were also threatened and forced to resign. The victims’ “guilt” was that the local paper published an article about the children’s summer camp.
The same day, men from the same radicalist group tried to force local bus drivers to refuse to provide transportation to the faithful desiring to go to the cross procession of the canonical Ukrainian Church in Kiev tomorrow, threatening to set their buses ablaze.
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