Increased threats, violent attacks, media manipulation against Ukrainian Church

Ukraine, February 28, 2022

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An unfortunate but unsurprising consequence of the Russian “special military operation” in Ukraine is the increase in violent attacks and threats against churches and clergy of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church and the spread of false information in the media against the Church.

There are several such examples since Russian troops landed in Ukraine on February 24.

In the town of Golaya Pristan, Kherson Province, unknown persons threw rocks at the Church of St. Seraphim of Sarov, shattering the windows on the evening of February 24, the rector reports.

In the village of Novozhivotov, Vinnitsa Province, a group of supporters of the schismatic “Orthodox Church of Ukraine,” beat a priest and demolished a chapel of the Holy Protection Church of the canonical Ukrainian Church on February 25.

The parish community has been forced to fight for its church against the schismatics for a long time now, and has only been able to pray in a small room near the church. When the rector Archpriest Peter Monastirsky arrived, he found the chapel already destroyed together with the icons and liturgical utensils. The desecrators of the church then rushed at Fr. Peter, knocked him down, and beat him.

It’s reported that the police refused to help the priest until he had his wounds officially photographed and documented.

In Mariupol, Donetsk Province, an armed attack was carried out against the St. Nicholas Cathedral by a group of people in military uniforms and balaclavas on February 25, the Donetsk Diocese reports.

The armed men broke into the church as the priest was celebrating the Sacrament of Baptism. The priest, a security guard, and a church employee were beaten, money, food, and household supplies were stolen, and two clergy cars were stolen from the church territory.

In Korets, Rivne Province, the nuns of the Holy Trinity Monastery have been urged by the local administration to leave the monastery because of the possible threat of bombing by the Russian Armed Forces, reports the Russian Orthodox Church.

It’s also believed that a provocation is being prepared by local nationalists against the monastery, which is the only monastery in Ukraine directly under the omophorion of Patriarch Kirill.

In the village of Tsenyava, Ivano-Frankivsk Province, schismatic and Uniate priests and a group of veterans of the Ukrainian Anti-Terrorist Operation demanded that the priest and parish community vacate the Queen of All Icon of the Mother of God Church within a day, otherwise there would be violence, Archpriest George Malish reported to the Union of Orthodox Journalists.

The Orthodox faithful were collecting money to aid the Ukrainian army when the priests and people in military uniform entered the church and began insulting and searching the priest and parishioners and their cars.

Fr. George said that just the day before he was accused of storming ammunition and harboring saboteurs, and even though the Ukrainian Security Service officially debunked such claims, the angry mob could not be persuaded to leave peacefully.

Fake information about the church and parishioners is constantly spread on social media, Fr. George said, and several of them have received death threats.

Several priests and parishes have been the victim of false claims and media reports in the past few days.

On February 24, there were reports that Fr. Mikhail Grigorievich was detained at the site of a helicopter crash outside Kiev, supposedly as a Russian saboteur posing as a Ukrainian. In fact, Fr. Mikhail is a Ukrainian citizen who ran out to help after seeing the helicopter crash, the Ukrainian Church clarified.

Local police also debunked claims that an arsenal of weapons was being stored in the Church of the Unexpected Joy Icon of the Mother of God in the village of Ugrinov, Volyn Province.

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Matrona3/1/2022 5:20 pm
Lord have mercy.
Menas2/28/2022 11:15 pm
Hopefully this doesn’t push people into the arms of the OCU
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