The Kiev region, August 16, 2014
Activists of the “Freedom” nationalist political party and the “Radical Party of the Ukraine”, headed by the nationalist deputy Oleg Lyashko, interrupted a service and flung insults against rector of one of churches of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate in the Kiev region, reports Russia Today. The parties came to agitate against the Moscow Patriarchate in favor of the so-called “Kiyv Patriarchate”, a religious organization that broke away from the Moscow Patriarchate under the leadership of the self-styled “Patriarch” Filaret (Denysenko) in 1992. The Kiyv Patriarchate is not accepted as a canonical Church by any of the other canonical Local Orthodox Churches, but finds support in the Ukraine from nationalists who want to break all ties with Moscow.
Extremists wearing “Freedom” party symbols and “The radical Party” of Oleg Lyashko burst into the church courtyard and disrupted the service. The hooligans leaned on the altar, touching it with their hands, insulted the priest and threatened him. According to Orthodox tradition, only ordained priests and deacons can touch the holy altar. The altar when touched by people other than a priest or deacon is considered defiled.
The hecklers complaint against the priest is that he is with the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Moscow Patriarchate. Later, a video showing the incident was later uploaded to the Internet.