Kurozvany, Ukraine, April 12, 2019
In October, the Patriarchate of Constantinople received thousands of schismatic hierarchs, clergy, and people into its jurisdiction, which it remolded into a new church in December and to which it granted “autocephaly” in January. Unfortunately, many of those hierarchs, clergy, and people have proven to be violent, inspired by hatred for their fellow Ukrainians and their canonical Church under His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine.
The priest and faithful of the canonical Holy Protection Church in the village of Kurozvany in northwestern Ukraine have repeatedly suffered at the hands of Constantinople-approved schismatic-nationalist activists in recent weeks. After they seized the church, the faithful began to pray in their priest’s home, though the activists tried to take the priest’s home as well a week ago.
Finally, this morning around 8:00, the impious activists broke the doors to the house church and dragged all of the community’s property out onto the street, including the holy altar and the precious Body and Blood of Christ, reports the Union of Orthodox Journalists (UOJ).
The perpetrators who broke the doors to the priest’s home told the parishioners about it themselves on the telephone.
“Our fellow villagers called us this morning and told us to come take our property off of the road,” one parishioner, who wished to remain anonymous for fear of retaliation, told a UOJ correspondent.
“We quickly gathered together and ran there: The altar with the Holy Gifts was standing there in the middle of the street, with the seven-branch candlestick, and the people who did it were so excited and waiting for some investigator who was supposedly coming,” the parishioner recalled.
The rector of the canonical church, Archpriest Vladimir Koval and his family had left the village just the day before. They had been forced to leave their home of more than 20 years so the community would have somewhere to worship.
“Everything that happened today is nothing other than demonic possession and the mockery of sacred items,” said Archpriest Mikhail Petrov, the local dean.
The situation in the village is unstable at the moment. The police, who came to the scene, are inactive; the schismatic activists set the “rules of the game,” the UOJ writes.
On February 21, representatives from the district administration and the local village arrived at the church to “take an inventory,” which was merely a pretext to attempt to seize the church, though the head of the local police department sealed up the church to calm the situation.
The activists returned on March 1 and broke the fencing around the church, cut the locks, and entered the church, seizing it, again under the pretext of an “inventory.” The UOJ published a video from that day:
They returned again in mid-March, attempting to kick Fr. Vladimir and his family and parishioners out of his house, threatening to kill him.
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