Belozerye, the Cherkassy region (the Ukraine), October 21, 2014
In Belozerye village parishioners have succeeded in defending their church, reports the Cherkassy Diocese’s website.
On October 19, near the Church of Transfiguration of the Lord in Belozerye village of Cherkassy district of the Cherkassy region, a confrontation took place between the parishioners and the people who strove for transfer of this village parish to the so-called “Kyiv Patriarchate”.
This incident was preceded by agitation work in the village, accompanied by collection of signatures for transfer to “the Kyiv Patriarchate” and for removal of Archpriest Vasily Kovalenko who for many years has been rector of this church.
Taking into account the aggressive nature of the action and the emotional tension of both parties, the law-enforcement agencies’ officers surrounded the territory near the church. Representatives of the local and regional state administration, the public, head of the Cherkassy Deanery Archpriest Sergy Chumak were present there as well.
As a result of the emotional discussion of the issue on the supposed transfer of the parish to “the Kyiv Patriarchate” the overwhelming majority of those present spoke up for keeping the parish in the current jurisdiction (that is, in the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church) as well as for absolute trust in Father Vasily. Incidentally, priests and believers from the neighboring town of Smila came to the church in order to support the rector.
The turbulent atmosphere that reigned in front of the locked Transfiguration Church, however, did not prevent the priests and the Parliamentarian candidate (to the Verkhovna Rada) from the patriotic party Sergei Rudyk from coming to a constructive decision. Rudyk spoke up for dialogue and for finding mutual understanding among the faithful, which could prevent further escalation of the conflict and displays of extremism, the message reads.