The Capture of a Moscow Patriarchate Temple in Volyn: Schismatics Smashed Open the Locks and Sang the Ukrainian Anthem

Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard


The religious community of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church [Moscow Patriarchate – ed] of the village of Sadov, which together with its priest refused to change jurisdiction and to side with schism, is looking for a new room for church services.

On February 2th 2019 the temple in honor of Our Lady of Kazan, belonging to the community of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the village of Sadov in the Lutsky district of the Volyn region was occupied by supporters of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU). Raiders broke the locks and opened the doors with tools that were prepared in advance. As the Abbot of the temple archpriest Vladimir Meles told the correspondent of the Union of Orthodox Journalists, none of the active parishioners of the community opted for schism.

The priest himself is a native of Sadov, and he is fed up of hearing from “activists” that he is an “outsider”.

“I was born here and grew up here, I have served for 22 years. And afterwards I had to observe how young people who we’ve never seen in the temple before break open the doors with a ruckus. And in order for the noise not to be heard, they drown out this action by singing the anthem”

said the priest, sharing his impressions of the “transition of the temple to the OCU”

According to archpriest Vladimir, at the moment 117 people in the village firmly adhere to the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church – so many confidently write down their signatures for the preservation of jurisdiction. Some dozens more work in the public sector and do not risk signing it [they may be fired by Poroshenko – ed], however they all the same consider themselves to be members of the community of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church [Moscow Patriarchate – ed]. Church services are regularly attended by 30-40 people.

“All the people left the temple together with me, neither the head nor the cashier – none of the regular parishioners switch to the side of OCU supporters”

said the Abbot

Because of the “transition” swindle, believers have been left without liturgy for two Sundays in a row. On January 27th a “collection” was carried out in the temple, no service was held. And on Saturday, February 2nd, at around 16:00 near the temple, a group of people equipped with tools necessary for breaking open doors arrived and went to work. At about 20:30 the doors were opened.

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Now the community is going to govern service in the church house which meanwhile remains at its order. However people do not want to come to the territory of the scolded temple, and parishioners with the priest already actively look for other room.

As a reminder, in Sadov at the beginning of January there was a scandal – local teachers were accused of carrying out propaganda activity in favour of the OCU.

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