December 22, 2020
This is an amazing story about the courage and resilience of the Christians of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, from whom the “believers” of the Kiev Patriarchate (now the OCU) took away two churches one after the other: first, in 2014 in Butyn, and then, in 2017 – in Kinakhivtsy, where the members of the affected community from Butyn would also come to pray. The supporters of the UOC-KP and the nationalists of the Right Sector, who participated in the seizures, showed no mercy to anyone: when the believers were driven out of the churches, the priests and even the elderly female parishioners were hit and injured.
In a situation where people seemed to have nothing more to hope for, the believers did not back down. Initially, they gathered in the house of the community head Stepan Tyvoniuk to conduct Divine services. Then they were able to build a small temporary church out of chipboard. And finally, thanks to the help of patrons, the people were able to build a new church of their own. Everyone worked on the construction site, both men and women. When it rained or snowed, new clothes and food were brought to the builders. And here it is – after several years of hardship, a single community of two villages has now a new, beautiful church of its own.
But the main thing is not even that the worshipers have a place where they can pray peacefully. Believers claim that they are grateful to God for all the trials they had to endure – the beatings of the nationalists, the mockery of their neighbors, and even the bullying of their children at school. All this helped them understand that the essence of Christianity is love - Love for God, love for each other, and even love for those who offend and humiliate them.