Ivano-Frankivsk, Ukraine, March 29, 2023
The Ivano-Frankivsk Province is the first to be “cleansed” of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Provincial Governor Rusla Martsinkiv gleefully wrote after violent schismatics teargassed the Nativity of Christ Cathedral and hospitalized a priest.
The cathedral had already been illegally reregistered to the graceless schismatics, who then carried out a violent physical takeover yesterday and began holding their services in the church. The governor belligerently referred to the UOC as the “Moscow Patriarchate” and accused the faithful of attempting to seize their own church.
The schismatic nationalists announced the seizure in advance, and even created a Telegram channel specifically dedicated to the takeover, where they made calls for violence against the Orthodox faithful.
Several hundred aggressive nationalists showed up at the church yesterday morning, while the faithful also came out to defend their church. The Orthodox Christians chanted prayers, while the schismatics shouted angry slogans. The Ivano-Frankivsk Diocese broadcast a live stream of the unfortunate event:
During the storming of the church, the raiders even sprayed tear gas on the faithful, who were peacefully praying:
Eventually, the raiders broken open the side doors and entered the church. They then opened the main door from inside and pushed the faithful down the stairs. “Everything occurred with the complete inaction of the representatives of law enforcement,” writes the Union of Orthodox Journalists.
During the takeover, the Orthodox rector Archpriest Vasily Romanyuk was sprayed in the face with tear gas, after which he lost consciousness and fell over, and had to be taken to the hospital.
Clerics of the schismatic OCU and the Uniate Ukrainian Greek Catholic church then prayed in the altar together.