Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard
In the night of November 5th, 2018 unknown persons set fire to the bell tower in the temple of the “Support to the Humble” icon of the Mother of God located at the Janusz Korczak rehabilitation center in Odessa. This was reported on the official website of the Odessa diocese of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate.
In the message it is emphasised that the children’s rehabilitation center and inhabited multi-storey buildings are located near the temple buildings. Both the patients of the center and the citizens are parishioners of the temple, the prior of which is a priest who is well-known in the city, the archpriest Andrey Kirlik.
“The attempt of an arson at a temple in which those who since childhood have struggled with heavy illnesses receive spiritual help and support is not only encroachment on a national shrine, but also an expression of extreme contempt for people demanding special care and warmth,” emphasised the Odessa diocese, having added that it is impossible to call the criminal acts of the attackers anything other than inhuman.
“This crime is yet more proof that the forces that have risen today against the Church and national shrines are inspired by extreme godlessness and inhumanity. Appealing to law enforcement bodies, we ask to take all measures to ensure the security of the holy sites. And appealing to God’s people, we ask all to cherish with reverence and love the precious pledge of the Christian belief and not to allow the Church and national shrines to be insulted,” it is said in the message of the diocese.
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