A year and a half after the seizure of St. Michael’s Church in Polesskoe, in the Rivne Province, Ukrainian nationalist-schismatics are now trying to drive the canonical priest out of his house, together with his children and grandchildren.
Activists from the schismatic “Orthodox Church of Ukraine” (OCU), created by Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, gave Fr. Stephen Korolchuk two days to vacate the parish house he has lived in for 20 years so the schismatic priest can move in. Fr. Stephen lives with his matushka, 5 children, two sons-in-law, and 2 grandchildren. The house also has an add-on where the Orthodox faithful have been worshiping since the loss of their church.
Fr. Stephen Korolchuk with parishioners after their church was seized. Photo: spzh.news
Raiders violently seized the church on April 17 last year, breaking the doors with a crowbar.
In October 2018, when the Patriarchate of Constantinople unilaterally rehabilitated the Ukrainian schismatics, its Holy Synod issued an appeal that no churches or monasteries be violently seized. Since then, hundreds of churches have been seized, and clergy and faithful have been attacked, while Constantinople has remained silent.
Video of the attempted seizure in Polesskoe was sent by an eyewitness to the Union of Orthodox Journalists, showing how 10 people came to the house while Fr. Stephen was away and demanded that Matushka and one of her daughters vacate the house.
“We came to warn you, verbally for now. If you don’t vacate the house willingly, we’ll do it ourselves,” one of the activists declared. Another insisted that they don’t care about any court decisions concerning ownership of the house, because “the fairest court is the people’s court.”
They also announced that they will destroy the extension that currently serves as the canonical community’s church.
Matushka Nina noted that this is not the first time the schismatics have attempted to kick them out of their house. “First they took the church, now they want the house, and not just to humiliate us, but so our community won’t have a place to pray,” she added.
She also noted that the schismatic-nationalists don’t care that they will be illegally kicking young children out on the street.
The OCU has filed an eviction suit.
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