Mikhalcha, Chernivtsi Province, Ukraine, April 13, 2022
February 6 marked three years since the faithful of Holy Dormition Church in the village of Mikhalcha, Chernivtsi Province, began prayerfully protecting their church day and night against the attacks of the schismatic nationalists of the Patriarchate of Constantinople’s “Orthodox Church of Ukraine.”
The church has endured many attacks in that time.
And this past Sunday, the schismatics launched another attack, with the help of the local police. The faithful arrived for Liturgy at 7:00 AM to find the church gates tied off and the entrance to the church blocked, and armed men in military uniforms on the territory of the church, reports the Diocese of Chernivtsi and Bukovina.
Checkpoints were also set up at the entrance to the village, preventing Ukrainian citizens from entering.
The local head of the police “personally directs the expulsion of the Orthodox community of the UOC from the church, giving preference to people with spray cans and batons who occupied the Orthodox church in the village of Mikhalcha this morning,” the report states.
The diocese published a video showing the rector Fr. Sergei Tsurkan praying fervently for the protection of his church:
Another video shows the involvement of the police in the church seizure:
Meanwhile, the faithful peacefully prayed with great emotion:
As they prayed, the schismatics screamed, “Death! Death! Death!”
The Diocese of Chernivtsi and Bukovina applied to all local military and law enforcement agencies to stop the violent and lawless actions of the OCU in the village.
“How heavy it is for the soul when some people pray for Ukraine, while others seize churches at the same time,” the diocese writes.
The faithful will continue their prayerful stand in defense of their church, the diocese assures. “Ukraine is an Orthodox country. The theomachists can’t understand this.”