Volyn, Ukraine, February 21, 2019
Since the creation of the schismatic so-called “Orthodox Church of Ukraine” by the Patriarchate of Constantinople in December, its supporters have seized more than 20 churches in the Volyn Diocese alone, out of the 360 canonical churches there, His Grace Bishop Nathaniel of Volyn and Lutsk said on Ukrainian television on Tuesday.
“At the moment, more than 20 churches have been illegally taken from us. Those religious communities that didn’t want to transfer [to the schismatic church—O.C.] and whose churches were taken, are celebrating services in houses,” Bp. Nathaniel explained.
4 churches were seized just in the period of February 12 to 16, reports RIA-Novosti. His Grace Bishop Viktor of Baryshevka recently explained that while the state and Ukrainian media claim that more than 300 churches have transferred to the schismatic church, in fact, only 36 have moved voluntarily, and only 88 in total, including those that have been seized.
Even in the face of such a situation, the faithful of the canonical Church continue to act lawfully, not succumbing to the schismatics’ provocations, the hierarch explained: “We don’t argue, we don’t fight, but we entreat and address governmental officials so they would maintain lawfulness and our rights.”
“The faithful of our Orthodox Church, who stand in the truth, headed by our Metropolitan His Beatitude Onuphry: Be firm to the end, do not be fooled by the deception that comes our way. Everyone who goes to our churches knows that we glory God in church. Let us pray for one another and for our people. We pray for the Ukrainian people,” Bp. Nathaniel concluded.
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