Milcha, the Ukraine’s Rivne region, June 30, 2015
On June 25, the feast-day of St. Onuphrius the Great, a very large community of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church in the Milcha village of the Rivne region prayed in the open air.
The Divine Liturgy was celebrated in the yard of the Church of Nativity of the Mother of God that had been seized by schismatics, reports the Ukrainian Orthodox Church’s official website.
Local residents gathered for the service, and the clergy from neighboring villages came to support the congregation. The service was headed by assistant of the Dubno Deanery Archpriest Anatoly Bogdanov.
Although those trying to take over churches argue that they are not seizing churches and are only carrying out the decisions of the local community, the number of believers of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church who gathered for prayer that day in the village in the Rivne region tells a different story. The justification for the violent takeover of churches by the schismatics of the “Kyiv Patriarchate” that they are merely contributing to the unity of Ukrainian Orthodoxy is particularly cynical.
Having driven away the community of UOC MP from the church building, the “Kyiv Patriarchate” representatives also attempted to prevent the faithful from performing a service on that day. Thus, the schismatics even did not want to let them onto the territory of the church.
While the courts prefer to ignore these lawless acts, Orthodox Christians can only rely on the Divine justice and always to be faithful to their canonical Church.