“Disgrace procession” to UOC priest’s house led by OCU clerics in Volyn

On June 20, 2021, a group of clergymen of the Volyn diocese of the OCU, accompanied by local residents – supporters of the schismatic church structure – held a kind of protest near the house where the family of Archpriest Nikolai Iliuk, rector of the UOC community in the village of Shepel, Lutsk district, Volyn region, lives. The video of the event was published by Channel 12.

As noted in the material of the regional TV channel, in this way the “church community” allegedly protests against the fact that it has to maintain and pay, as well as repair the house in which the rector of the parish of the canonical Church lives. On the day of the “protest”, representatives of the OCU walked to the house, which they are trying to reclaim, and traditionally shouted “Shame!” near it.

The UOJ asked the priest of the UOC, Fr. Nikolai, for a comment. According to him, he had already familiarized himself with the material of the TV channel in the media and was most of all struck by the outspoken and absurd lie about “the maintenance of the church house by the OCU community”.

“This is the first time they have come and are unlikely to come again. They know that they have no rights to the house, and we have been living here legally since 1997! There is no need to talk about the fact that they are supposedly paying or maintaining something here. We are registered here, we did all the repair work at our own expense, and all the contracts for the provision of utilities were concluded by us, they’re just telling a lie to the media,” Fr. Nikolay Illiuk commented on the situation at hand.

According to him, his family has the right to stay in the church house for a period of residence – more than 26 years. Also, the priest gave his own real estate for the needs of the community that remained with him – part of the house where his family members live. The Holy Dormition community of the UOC in vlg. Shepel, who were deprived of their church in 2019, repurposed it as a prayer room.

As the media reported, in 2019, the OCU took over both churches in which Fr. Nikolay served – in the villages of Shepel and Vesele, Lutsk region. In both parishes, the communities were preserved, while in Vesele the parishioners rebuilt even a small new temple in honor of the Intercession of the Mother of God.

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