Translated by Ollie Richardson
Attacks on churches of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church continue. On the night of January 10th the Svyato-Pokrovsky church in the city of Ilyichevsk (decommunised to Chernomorsk) in the Odessa region was robbed and profaned. The criminals managed to enter a room of the church through a door from its back side. All baskets for donations were opened. “Possibly, having seen that there isn’t the sum of money they expected, out of rage they began to destroy everything in the church and the altar. In particular, the scorners broke the altar doors and, whilst leaving, filled up the entire room with powder from the fire extinguishers that are in the church. The operational-investigations group of the Chernomorsk police department was called, which now carries out investigative,” it is said in the message of the press service of the Odessa diocese of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. They are stressed that in the same place “in 2017 none of 19 robberies and desecration of churches was investigated and the responsible persons punished”.
“The mind cannot comprehend what they did here, in our Svyato-Pokrovsky church. They defecated directly on the holy site … The vertep was overturned and broken, the altar doors are broken … Surprisingly, only the throne wasn’t touched, but all the rest was turned inside out – all books, all prayer books, the vestments were scattered,” said the prior of the Ilyichevsk church Archpriest Aleksandr Boyko, listing the crimes.
“We went around the temple, saw that both the windows had been smashed, and the doors were smashed on the other side. Everything inside is broken, the baskets [of donations – ed] were opened. And here, in the new year that has come, the wave of crimes and desecration of shrines continues,” noted the diocese.
And on January 9th, on the third day of celebration of Christmas, the temples of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church located in the center of Odessa were subjected to a provocative act by representatives of radical nationalist organizations. The young men (as it later became known, from the radical organisation “Right Sector”) stuck some leaflets to churches. “A group of approximately six aggressive young people pasted leaflets on the doors and walls of Orthodox churches. When the priests, workers, and parishioners of the churches demanded to stop the blasphemy and hooliganism, the young men shouted out aggressive insults. After the resolute actions of one of the priests, who pulled down the pasted leaflets, the radicals tried to negotiate with him about the possibility of finishing the filming of the action, motivating that they need to record a video report. With the active support of employees of the church and parishioners, the hooligans were banished from the churches. Believers regard this action to be an insult to the paternal faith – Sacred Orthodoxy, with special blasphemy made during the joyful and sacred days of the birth of Christ … During Christmas the whole earth rejoiced, and only the blood-thirsty Herod harboured reckless godless plans … Their fate is sad,” it is said on the official site of the Odessa diocese “Odessa orthodox”.
In this case, it is not difficult to identify the scorners: their actions were recorded by a video camera. The persons defined as “unknown” cannot escape. The diocese called on the law enforcement bodies of the Odessa region “not only to give a corresponding assessment of the desecration of national shrines, but also to take all necessary measures to prevent such incidents in the future”. But will they hear it?
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