In Volyn, three UOC communities affected by raiders of the OCU celebrated Easter in new churches

Easter in 2021 became special for the UOC community in the village of Brystry Kamen-Kashirsky district of the Volyn region. After two years of service in the home church, parishioners celebrated the holiday of the Resurrection of Christ in a new church rebuilt after the raider attack by the OCU. Photos of the first Easter Liturgy, as well as the preparations for the first divine service, were posted on Facebook by the rector of the community, Father Nazar Priymak.

On March 27, 2021, in Bronytsya, the domed crosses of the church in honor of the icon of the Mother of God “Quick to Hearken” were consecrated and installed, which the local community of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church built instead of the Church of the Nativity of John the Baptist captured by the OCU.

Father Nazar was assigned to the raided Orthodox community of the two neighboring villages of Brypte and Krymno in February 2020, after the previous rector was transferred to another parish. In January 2019, most of the community, together with the clergyman, despite attacks from the OCU activists, refused to move to the schismatic structure and lost access to the church.

In total, in the Kamen-Kashirsky district, the OCU managed to take away three parishes – in the villages of Brypty, Nuino and Rakov Les, while the communities survived everywhere, despite the departure of two abbots to schism. During this time, the UOC community in the village. Rakov Les has already moved to a new church; in Nuino, parishioners are actively building a church to replace the two rural churches selected by the OCU. The construction site in Bronitsa was consecrated on November 8, 2020.

The parishioners of the St. Michael’s community of the UOC in the village of Nesvich, Lutsk district, Volyn region, celebrated the first Easter in a new church erected instead of the selected OCU. Photos of the first Easter Sunday were posted on Facebook by the rector of the community, Archpriest Nikolai Kovalchuk.

A lot of construction work still needs to be done in the church, but parishioners have been gathering there since the feast day of November 21, 2020. At the same time, the foundation of the new church was consecrated only in September 2020.

Due to the raiding actions of the OCU asset, the local St. Michael’s community of the UOC has lost access to its own church since March 4, 2019. Later, the status of a legal entity was also taken away from the community: on March 18, 2019, by order of the head of the Volyn Regional State Administration, the parish was re-registered in favor of the OCU, and then, by another order, the church, which is an architectural monument, was transferred to the use of the educated OCU community.

At first, after the loss of the church, the UOC community gathered in a church house near the church, but people were pushed away from it too. For a long time, the UOC community gathered for prayer in a tent set up near the church, and with the onset of cold weather, one of the parishioners let their fellow villagers into her house.

Also, after two years of prayer in the home church of the Svyato-Ilyinsky community of the UOC in the village of Klepachev, Volyn region, celebrated the first Easter in a new church. The former church of the community was taken over by the OCU in 2019, during this time on the site that the rector Fr. Vladimir Tikhonyuk, a prefabricated structure was installed.

“We brought this temple from Lutsk, Fr. Valentin Marchuk and his St. Nicholas community gave it to us after they moved to their new church with the blessing of Vladyka Nathanael, – said Father Vladimir. “He was the first abbot in Klepachev for six months, and we have been here for the sixteenth year.”

On the first celebration of Easter in the new church, by the efforts of the UOC community from the village of Klepachev, the road to the church was decorated with an “Easter egg garden”.

On March 9, 2019, supporters of the OCU carried out a raider attack on the St. Elias Church in the village of Klepachev, Kivertsovsky District. Before that, the parish was illegally re-registered in the OCU, despite the decision of the religious community to remain in the bosom of the canonical Church under the leadership of His Beatitude Metropolitan of Kiev and All Ukraine Onufriy. The parish continued its activities, moving to a suitable room in a private house.

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