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  5. Supporters of the OCU blocked the entrance to the temple of the UOC in Smila on the day of the patronal feast

Supporters of the OCU blocked the entrance to the temple of the UOC in Smila on the day of the patronal feast

March 30, 2022, on the day of the patronal feast of the church in honor of St. Alexei, a man of God, in the city of Smela, Cherkasy diocese, schismatics disrupted a festive divine service.

This is the second incident of a religious war in the town of Smila in the last week, reports the Cherkasy diocese of the UOC.

Parishioners and guests – faithful to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, the priests invited to the holiday could not get into the temple – the entrance was blocked by representatives of the OCU in Smila, who called themselves an “initiative group”.

After eight in the morning, many representatives of the National Police and Terrorist Defense arrived at the temple, who observed the events around the temple, but did not interfere in the matter, doing nothing to protect the legal rights of the UOC believers.

Also, representatives of the Security Service of Ukraine arrived at the temple, who looked at the title documents of the religious community for the temple building and the land, made sure that the property rights of the religious community of the UOC were legal, but also did nothing to establish law and order.

Soon, Smelyansky Mayor Ananko S.V. arrived at the temple, he talked with OCU activists who did not allow parishioners into their temple, and representatives of the religious community of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, who came to pray for their patronal feast.

To the question of the embarrassed and frightened parishioners, can they dangerously come to worship in their church even on Sunday, the mayor of the city did not give an answer. He only said: “There are temples around, go there and pray.” To the objection of the parishioners that these churches belong to the jurisdiction of the OCU, the head of the city replied that he did not see any difference between the UOC and the OCU. But at the same time Ananko S.V. initiated the collection of signatures in the Grechkovka microdistrict, where the temple is located against the UOC, for going into schism.

There were also negotiations between the parishioners and the initiative group. The result of the negotiations came down to one thing: “Go to the OCU, and then we are not interested in you.”

After that, an “initiative group” of people who had nothing to do with the arrival of St. Alexei, began to collect signatures on the transition of the religious community (parish) in honor of St. Alexei, husband of God of the Cherkasy diocese of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in the OCU. It should be noted that, contrary to the Law, signatures were collected not among the parishioners, but among the people present – residents of Smela, and possibly visitors who did not belong to members of the religious community in any way, as well as among other unidentified persons who did not have documents with them.

After considerable efforts and long negotiations, only the rector of the church, Fr. Roman Garkavenko in order to use the Holy Lamb prepared for the festive Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts.

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