Neo-Nazis From “C14” and Schismatic Priests Captured a Canonical Temple in the Chernigov Region

Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard


On Wednesday, January 16th, in the village of Olenovka in the Borznyansky district of the Chernigov region the Svyato-Voznesensky temple of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate) was seized by priests of the OCU who were accompanied by radicals from C14. This was declared by the head of the the UOC-MP’s Synod Information and Educational Center archbishop Kliment.

“Regardless of what the president today says, we currently have a completely different situation. Priests of the OCU came to the temple under the escort of ‘C14’ militants and other radical thugs, without having any documents, statutes, registration that they have the right to come into this temple and claim the property of this temple”

stated the archbishop

According to him, this is connected to the rural community meeting that took place on January 15th, however religious questions were not on the agenda of that day, he said. Also, Archbishop Kliment stated that the question of the temple switching to the OCU was raised by the head of the district state administration of the Borznyansky district Vera Proskura. However, 26 people out of the 100 attendees voted “for”. At the same time, another figure – 37 people – was written down in the minutes. According to him, others weren’t asked whether or not they are against it or abstain. The archbishop also stated that no reaction from law enforcement bodies followed.

At the same time, the dean of the Borznyansky district Archpriest Ioann and the lawyer Viktor Makovy declared to “” that about 25 unknown people who aren’t residents of the village came to the meeting of the Olenovka’s community, and only two people from the local residents supported the temple’s transition to the OCU.

“The local residents were indignant – after all, the orthodox community declared in advance that it isn’t going to switch to the OCU. Nevertheless, the head of the Borznyansky regional state administration, who was present at the scene, signed the voting protocol, which is inadmissible – after all, this is the interference of the state in religious questions”

stated Viktor Makovy

In the morning on January 16th indignant local parishioners gathered at the temple, there were 25 non-local participants of yesterday’s community meeting, who introduced themselves as “patriots”. According to archpriest Ioann, local parishioners had to disperse as the thugs threatened to use force.

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According to Viktor Makovy, the unknown persons brought their priest to the temple, opened the locks, and illegally entered the church.

According to the Information and Educational Department of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church [Moscow Patriarchate – ed], at about 12:30 the group of 50 radicals from “C14” who participated in the occupation of the temple cut off the locks with an angle grinder and went inside. At the same time they didn’t have any documents that would’ve confirmed the legality of their actions. All of this happened with the assistance of the district administration and the inaction of the police. And the parishioners of the Svyato-Voznesensky religious community who oppose such initiatives, together with the priest [of the Moscow Patriarchate – ed], simply weren’t let into the temple.

In turn, one of representatives of the “patriots” participating in the occupation of the temple Yunis Asekrov wrote on his Facebook page that radicals not only from “C14” took part in the action, but also from Svoboda. He claims that the decision to switch to the OCU was adopted by the community, but “Moscow priests try to change their mind”.

Meanwhile, the abbot of Catherine’s Church (OCU) in Chernigov, Father Evgeny (Orda), still yesterday, on January 15th, stated that “the village of Olenovka returned to the OCU”.

On Wednesday, January 16th, he also published a Facebook post in which he declared that in the afternoon in the Svyato-Voznesensky temple of the village there will be a prayer service carried out by the clergy of the OCU led by Father Sergey Chechin. However, in the attached pictures it is seen that not many people attended this service – most of them are young men and men, some in camouflage clothes.

It should be noted that about 1,000 people live in the village of Olenevka. The temple in Olenevka belongs to the Nizhyn diocese of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate).

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