The church was slandered as “Stalin’s Patriarchate”
Lvov, Ukraine, October 25, 2018
Lvov Diocese of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
The same church has been attacked several times already this year.
The humble wooden church was pasted with images of Joseph Stalin with the inscription, “The true canonical name of the Moscow Orthodox Church is ‘Stalin’s Patriarchate.’”
In January, nationalistic forces picketed the church, and on February 3, the church was set on fire. The perpetrators have yet to be found. Restoration work is still underway.
The diocese is calling on vandals to cease attacking the church, reminding them of the 5th paragraph of the recent statement from the Ecumenical Patriarchate, in which its Holy Synod “appeal[s] to all sides involved that they avoid appropriation of churches, monasteries, and other properties as well as every other act of violence and retaliation so that he peace and love of Christ may prevail.”
“Unfortunately, we see neither Christ’s love for others nor the desire for peace in the actions of these unknown persons who desecrated St. Vladimir’s Church,” the diocesan message reads. It also entreats the parishioners of the church to remain calm, pray, and entrust the situation to the providence of God.
The message also calls on those involved in the current sectarian strife in to maintain their dignity as Christians and to remember that they were “bought with a price” (1 Cor. 6:20), that they “are Christ’s” (3:23), and that they should “glorify God in [their] bod[ies], and in [their] spirit[s], which are God’s (6:20).
The UN monitoring mission for human rights earlier reported that there were six attacks on canonical Ukrainian churches from May to August, though criminal cases were opened for only two of them, reports RIA-Novosti.
Three men, including two “priests” of the schismatic “Kiev Patriarchate” also tried to break into a parish of the Ukrainian Church two days ago, though the priest and community were able to prevent them.
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