Bobly, Ukraine, August 13, 2019
Photo: news.church.ua On the same day that Ukrainian radicals and schismatics beat a priest and several women of the canonical Church in the village of Galuzintsi, three “priests” of the schismatic “Orthodox Church of Ukraine” (OCU) were busy breaking into a church in the village of Bobly in the Volyn Province.
Together with a group of their supporters, the schismatic clergy in Bobly also staged a fight and beat those who have remained faithful to Jesus Christ, reports the Information-Education Department of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
The criminals intentionally went to the Holy Protection Church at a time when the rector was serving elsewhere and began to cut the locks on the doors, Archpriest Vitaly Duda, the dean of the local canonical deanery reported.
“Three ‘priests’ of the OCU cut the lock on the first doors. They also brought some unknown people with them, one of whom was in uniform, and began to open the second door, which, by the way, is about 200 years old. They tried to jimmy the lock open, but failing to do so, they simply broke the lock with a tire iron. Then they went inside and shut the doors,” Fr. Vitaly explained.
The caretaker of the church called on the schismatics to come to their senses and not commit such a sin, reminding them that they had previously promised there would be no such provocations, but the “priests” only concluded and began to sing “prayers” with the words, “Do not interfere!”
“Our faithful prayed continuously until lunchtime on the threshold of their church… I talked with the police and local authorities to avoid a confrontation and conflict, and we agreed that the OCU representatives would leave the church. The chairman of the village council, which supports the newly-created structure, had to persuade them. They finally left, and the church was closed with two locks—ours and theirs,” Fr. Vitaly detailed.
A statement was later submitted to the police concerning the illegal entry into the church and the infliction of bodily harm to the parishioners.
This is not the first provocation against the Holy Protection Church in Bobly, as the church was illegally reregistered to the schismatic OCU in the early spring of this year, despite the overwhelming decision of the faithful to remain with the canonical Church. Out of the 956 people living in the village, only 25 who have no connection to the parish voted to force it into schism, though the local territorial council accepted their vote.