Schismatics forcibly seize Orthodox church in Rivne region

Village Khodosy, the Ukraine, September 24, 2014

Representatives of the self-declared “Kyiv Patriarchate” with support of the nationalists have seized the Church of the Image of Christ, “Not Made by Hands”, in Khodosy village of the Rivne district of the Ukraine’s Rivne region. This happened on September 20, 2014.

“Several automobiles arrived and tough guys got out of them. Some of them were wearing black camouflage clothing with yellow bands on their hands. Most likely these were representatives of “The Right Sector”,” relates the local Priest, Roman Ignatyuk, an eyewitness of the incident, cited by the Rivne Diocese’s website.

A prayer service then was being performed at the church. The group of arrived people gathered outside and started holding a meeting and vote on the subject of the jurisdiction of the church. The faithful Orthodox locked themselves from inside.

“A real taking of the church by storm from outside began. They attempted to cut off the main doors’ lock by circular saw. Then they tried to take other doors off their hinges. And in the end they brought a crowbar and simply wrested the side doors of the right choir open,” the message reads.

The priests more than once called to The Ukrainian Security Service and the police, asking to come. Among the attackers there was a police officer who, however, did not interfere with the aggression.

As the message states, the faithful became a human shield, “not letting the unrighteous people go through the broken doors”. The activists forced the central doors and, taking the priest, who was trying to stop them, by his liturgical vestments, threw him outside.

“They then grabbed my arm and leg and also wanted to throw me out of the church. But this time they did not succeed in that. I got away with only torn-off button and tab on my cassock,” writes Fr. Roman.

According to him, the schismatic priests, who were among the group, justified their actions by the alleged “vote” of the village community to go over to “the Kyiv Patriarchate”.


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