The Shocking Circumstances of the Capture of Orthodox Temples in Ukraine

The Ukrainian publicist and religious scholar Dmitry Skvortsov compiled for the Strategic Culture Foundation the main facts that show how the schismatic so-called “Orthodox Church of Ukraine” behaves towards Ukrainian Orthodox Christians even when the camera is rolling…

Ukrainian religious war

As we indeed assumed, after the actions of the “All Holy Bartholomew”, the religious war in Ukraine developed from local into general.

The capture of temples of the canonical church takes place in accordance with the scheme tried and tested at the time of Yushchenko: the territorial community of the village votes for the “transition” of a local temple from the Moscow Patriarchate to the “Ukrainian Patriarchate”. But the opinion of the religious community – the people preferring the evening prayer rule to evening talk shows – doesn’t interest anybody. And in any settlement of “land given by God”, churched believers are in the minority.

Maximum attention!!!!!
Genera gathering of the religious community of the village of Bilichi!
Wednesday, 27 February @ 17:00 (in the hall).
The participation of every resident of the village is obligatory.
Agenda of the day: adoption of a decision concerning the belonging of the church of the village of Bilichi.
Initiative group of the village of Bilichi.

Almost daily announcements about the capture of this or that temple in Ukraine become ordinary. However, we will try to look at this reality so that it is imprinted forever.

Typical case: the village of Baranovka in the Zhytomyr region.

Baranovka: Chronicle of the failed storm of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate)

Here the actions of the captors looked as follows:

  • An unanimous decision on the capture of “a den of enemies of the Ukrainian people” is made by a meeting of the territorial community at the call of the deputy of the regional council in the presence of the head of the regional council, the head of the regional state administration (RSA), and the head of the Village Council;
  • Capture of the temple by force, an attack on the defenders of the temple, including the priest (after being hit in the stomach, Archpriest Orest Semotyuk was hospitalised with a damaged pancreas) in the presence of law enforcement bodies;
  • The participation of the police in the “neutralization” of orthodox defenders of the temple;
  • Breaking down the doors of the temple under exclamations “Glory to Ukraine! Glory to heroes!” (5 min. 38 sec.);
  • Ejection from the temple where people pray inside, under the hooting and applause of “carriers of the Ukrainian spirit” (from 7 min. 29 sec. to 8 min. 40 sec.);
  • The head of the RSA accuses the priest of “creating a standoff”: the captors are not given free access to the temple (6 min. 53 sec.);
  • Performance of the anthem of Ukraine in response to the Paschal troparion of the parishioners of the temple (from 8 min. 43 sec.).

Only the participation of neo-fascist formations in “the process of the peaceful transition of communities of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (MP) to the OCUis not captured in this video. And we will start with this.

The participation of militarised neo-Nazi formations in the “peaceful transition” of communities to the OCU

A gathering of territorial communities quite often takes place under the supervision of activists in balaclavas (“so that there are no provocations”). In such a case the capture happens immediately after the gathering.

“War continues not only in the East, but also in the rear. We must understand that the enemy is near,” said Right Sector, explaining its participation in the capture of one of the temples in the Ternopol region. “March 3rd will enter in the history of the village of Gnezdichnoye as the day of the unshakable fight for its own Ukrainian faith. The Ukrainian community showed the strength of mind and courage, having defeated all the opposition and provocations of the pro-Russian community led by the priest”.

The next video shows the force of the Ukrainian spirit while the approaches to the temple are “cleansed” of “enemy forces”.

Gnezdichnoye – Right Sector throw the priest and elderly women out in the presence of the police

And already present here is the “correct priest” (who is at the same time the deputy of the regional council), who is supported by the forces of “Right Sector” and who expels the elderly women from the temple.

Gnezdichnoye – the “priest” and Right Sector throw out elderly women

In the Northeast of Ukraine, communities are helped to “switch to the OCU” by fascists from C14 armed with grinders As is said in the statement of the “Synod of the OCU”, “many communities who are ready to use their legal right to change jurisdiction face moral and even forceful pressure and intimidation exerted by the structures and supporters of the Moscow Patriarchate”. So Poroshenko’s lickspittle also ensure the “protection of communities” against the “pressure” of the all-powerful Moscow Patriarchate and the ubiquitous Russian world.

C14 Chernigov:

“Since the foundation of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU), in the Chernigov region no parish has transitioned from the Moscow Patriarchate (although, according to the information of reliable sources, there are those who want to), both among communities and priesthood, but, on the contrary, there is the exertion of pressure on Southern parishes, which are still in the bosom of the Autocephalous OCU.

The ‘Russian world’ exerts pressure on parishioners and priests in Varva and Digtyari in the Sribne district and on the brotherhood of the Svyato-Voznesensky monastery in Redkivka in the Pryluky district.

C14, together with brotherly organisations, are ready to give support to the congregation of the OCU and to ensure the establishment of the Ukrainian autocephalous church on the territory of Chernigov-Sivershchina.

God is with us!”

Participation (connivance) of law enforcement bodies

In all videos we see the indifference of the police. At the very beginning of the video from Gnezdichnoye it is heard how women shout: “Why doesn’t the police do anything?!”

Police in Gnezdichnoye

The correspondent of the Volyn TV channel “Avers” asks the same question, but does not receive an answer from the representative of the authorities.

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Zhidichin – what does the police do

And for what the police nevertheless protected temple gate, it becomes clear from the following video.

Zhidichin – the police does not allow parishioners of the UOC-MP enter

Law enforcement bodies defend the “athletically built” hired men who arrived from the regional center and who carry out a capture from the parishioners of the temple.

Zhidichin – Titushki

Activists, headed by the chairman of the Village Council, in the face of the police, violently stormed the house of the prior twice (as it was in the village of Shandrovets in the Lvov region) in order to take away from him the keys to the temple. The activists treated the police like a blank space. If the police suddenly allows themselves to not “ensure order during the transition of the community”, but to seal off the temple “before doing an establishing facts” (as was the case in the village of Kulchyn in the Volyn region), doors are mockingly cut off whilst being sealed – in the presence of these same police officers.

Kulchyn. Cuting off the sealed door in the presence of the police

And after all, who are they, these OCU activists? The answers are given in our first video, they sound in the exclamations “Glory to Ukraine!” instead of “Glory to God!”, “Our enemies will perish!” instead of “Love thy enemy!”.

The participation of non- Orthodox people in “transitioning” communities to the “Orthodox” faith

The video filmed in the Bukovina’s village of Zadubrovka allows to clearly demonstrate the capture of temples. Here the contrast between territorial and church community gatherings is especially visible.

Zadubrovka in Bukovina – village and religious community gatherings

Also dialogue between “real Ukrainian women” in the village of Luka-Meleshkovskaya of the Vinnytsia region and “Malorossiyans defending the temple, who came to shake the situation” [this is how “Right Sector” refers to them – ed] is also noteworthy. The former demand from the latter to perform “The Lord’s Prayer”, and thus trap themselves.


In the village of Vorsovka in the Zhytomyr region the captor – the temple is the “Union of ATO Veterans” headed by the local representative of “Svoboda” and rural head, without having let the priest and the church community enter the temple, decided to “modernize” the “not appropriate” prayer of “Moskals” by supplementing to it with the anthem of Ukraine.

Vorsovka. Anthem.

In Novaya Moshchanitsa of the Rovno region the same anthem singing was caused by a symbol of faith.

Novaya Moshchanitsa in the Rovno region. Anthem of Ukraine vs a symbol of faith

The nature of this sort of “Katavasia” was revealed by the Metropolitan Avgustin of Belaya Tserkov.

Village of Rudoye. Anthem of Ukraine

It is no wonder that ladies in trousers with uncovered heads declare themselves as … “priors” of temples!

Singury of the Zhytomyr region. ‘Prioress of the temple’

What can be said about this male “fervent observer of the piety of OCU”, who rushed to an altar (!) in headwear (in the village of Berestye in the Rovno region) for “carrying out an inventory”, but do not know how these or those utensils are called in order to include them in the list.

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Berestye. Rushing to the alter and listing things

“All of them time they pointed their fingers at utensils and asked me how a candlestick, banner, or this or that icon is called,” said the prior of the Pokrovsk temple, archpriest Sergey. “They listed 1/10th of what is in the temple, and then decided to register their information on the throne and altar” (a throne is a holy site; only priests have the right to touch both it and the objects spread-out on it).

2,000 people of voting age live in Berestye. Among them, Orthodox Christians (or “Moskal spies” – see at 1 min. 33 sec.) are a minority. But the majority is made up of representatives of Protestant denominations. As the “Union of Orthodox Journalists” website reported, at a territorial meeting Pentecostal sectarians also voted for the transfer of the Orthodox temple to the OCU.

It is in this same way that Protestants transfer the Pokrovsky temple of the villages of Radoshin and Biten in the Kovelsky district to the OCU too. And in Tarashcha of the Kiev region, among the instigators who fight for the transfer of the temple to the OCU, an activist who was excommunicated for the successful completion of “extrasensory courses” was spotted. In the village of Kopytov in the Rovno region the main agitator for the OCU is still remembered as a teacher who tore off crosses from children during the Soviet period.

And this is indeed the main contingent of activists of the OCU – people who are very far from religion. The announcement in the center of the village that specifies where the village church is located is enough in itself!

We invite you to a community gathering that will take place in the Svyato-Preobrazhensky church (in the village center near the kindergarten)
on 2nd March 2019 at 10:30

As is known, recently the dream of Ukrainians became true, an event historical for the whole country – the reception of Tomos of Autocephaly – took place. The local Ukrainian Autocephalous Church is the spiritual independence of Ukraine. During the gathering everyone will decide for themselves whether to join the OCU or to continue to serve Russian Kirill and Putin!!!

In the village of Koshevatoye in the Belaya Tserkov district, the head of the Village Council and the secretary of the territorial community meeting directly admitted that they don’t go into the temple because “God is not in the church”. But let’s pay attention to that devilish howl that sounds as soon as a representative of the church community starts reading to the village “community” the provision of the law according to which this “community” doesn’t have any connection to the temple.

God is not in the Church! In Koshevatoye in the Kiev region, the villagers transitioned the community to the “OCU”

Hence the corresponding “prayful gestures” of the new faith formed by the Ecumenical Patriarchate.

Village of Bushcha in the Rovno region (note the “fig” gesture)

And even inside the temple (village of Bakhtin in the Vinnytsia region) the gestures that came from the patron country of the Ecumenical Patriarchate prevail.

Middle finger in the captured temple

That’s why no one in the OCU is disturbed by the fact that the capture of temples did not stop even on Forgiveness Sunday, which also was the case in the same Baranovka. As a reminder: there the heads of village and regional councils, the head of the state administration, and the Deputy of the Regional Council took part in a crime. And this is another characteristic feature of the Ukrainian religious war.

Direct participation of the authorities in the capture of Orthodox temples

Territorial meetings, as a rule, are initiated by heads of village councils and heads of regional state administration. District officials in such cases lead the capture of temples. The most advanced of them is the head of the Zdolbunov regional state administration, Kondrachuk, who in May 2018 wrote a statement to the SBU with the demand to prosecute the local archpriest of the UOC (Moscow Patriarchate) and carry out searches in the temples of the UOC (MP) for the purpose of confiscating signature forms destined for Patriarch Bartholomew against the creation of the OCU.

On February 23rd – during his day off – Kondrachuk rushed to disrupt the Liturgy under the guise of an “inventory” in the church and personally broke open the door of the temple with a crowbar. As it turned out, his boss, the Chairman of the Rovno regional state administration O. Mulyarenko sent to heads of the regional state administration illegal “recommendations” to hold an “inventory of cult property and possessions of religious organisations”.

Kondrachuk’s name is associated with the capture of temples in at least five villages.

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In one of them – Kopytkova – “unknown persons” before the Vigil, secretly changed the locks, and the Orthodox community was unable to enter the temple. And here suddenly, during the weekend, this same head of the regional state administration appeared in the village as the leader of the captors, and… with the keys that are “accidentally found on the road”.

Head of the Zdolbunov regional state administration captures the temple in Kopytkova

Earlier the same tactics (with night time lock changing) was tested in the village of Bogorodchany in Galicia.

Under the pretext of an “inventory”, in the presence of officials of the regional state administration and police, the temple in the village of Kurozvany in the Rovno region was also broken into and captured.

Kurozvany. Capture of temple by regional state administration officials

The authorities also use methods of open intimidation. Thus, the head of the Khoroshev regional state administration of the Zhytomyr region summoned budgetary employees – parishioners of the UOC (MP) who have already voted in their religious communities for loyalty to the canonical Church – for a territorial community meeting. And the head of the Village Council of the village of Radomyshl in the Lutsk region, who led the capture of the local temple, intimidates residents who refuse to switch to the OCU via a summons to the army.

The head of the City Council of Berestechko in the Volyn region, involved… rescuers of the Ministry of Emergency Situations in order to break the door of the temple.

And finally, their absolute know-how is restricting the freedom of movement all over Ukraine for residents of the Orthodox faith. Thus, in the presence of the police, Archbishop Varsonofy of Vinnytsia was not allowed to enter the “territory of the Village Council” where the temple of the UOC (MP) had been captured.

In the village of Luka-Meleshkovskaya the Bishop and community that were expelled from the temple were directly physically abused.

Luka-Meleshkovskaya of the Vinnytsia region

Physical violence while forcing Orthodox believers to switch to the OCU

On a Ukrainian talk show the well-known Maidanist Poyarkov told the Orthodox journalist, television producer, and director Yury Molchanov that violence isn’t observed during “transitions” to the OCU. Yury’s monologue, disrupted by a hysterical Poyarkov, starts from 01:31:27 in this video:
Is any external influence being put on our country?

And if the videos presented above aren’t enough to prove the correctness of Molchanov, then we will present to Euromaidanists a much more convincing fact: the international OSCE mission refused to monitor the village of Berezhnitsa in Bukovina “because of a possible threat to their health and life”. Here the community locked itself in the temple and prayed for 14 hours. And even after this time the “good Samaritans” from the OCU didn’t allow them to pass a bottle of water through a window. The temple was eventually captured. And then “the people of God churched by Bartholomew” returned to their everyday life for the weekend – lard, garlic, homemade vodka, and fistfights.

Even in the traditionally Orthodox and just as traditionally pro-Maidan Ternopol region, Liturgy hasn’t been carried out in the captured temples for weeks!

Despite the fact that in every “OCU diocese” a whole two denominations united, there aren’t “priests” for the captured temples. “Look in the villages for men who are worthy of serving God in the Holy Church, calls one of Bukovina’s fake bishops (currently they have two for every diocese). “We will help them gain the knowledge they need to serve.”

But how will they be able to help if there is no congregation? Here is how the “Bishop of Uzhgorod” serves.

A “Bishop” in an empty temple

And here is how in the neighbouring cathedral believers of the UOC (MP) are during a reading of the Penitential Canon with an actual archbishop.

The Canon of Andrew of Crete in Uzhgorod

More and more Orthodox believers are getting used to services in “field conditions”. And this only strengthens their faith.

Trinity community in the village of Rostoky in the Kremenets district

I confess, before all this trouble with “Tomos” I thought that a part of the Maidan supporters who were in the bosom of the Church would leave it as soon as it will be seduced by the “canonicity of autocephaly”. However, Providence is in the fact that patriots of Ukraine perceived in “OCU believers” the savage face of Ukrainism. The seeds of doubt will obligatorily sprout.

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