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From capture to new church: in Ukraine a film was shot about community that survived schismatics’ raid

From capture to new church: in Ukraine a film was shot about community that survived schismatics’ raid
Version for print
22 September 2021 year 18:23

On the Internet, a second film from Vernye (The Faithful) series has come out - a documentary “Healing in Katerinovka” devoted to the life of the faithful of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church, who survived a bloody capture of their church in 2015 but did not give way to despair but became even stronger and built a new church. 

On September 21, 2015, the day of the Nativity of the Most Holy Mother of God, schismatics from the ‘UOC KP’ together with radicals from the Right Sector (banned in Russia - ed.) and with the assistance of the local authorities seized the St. George church of the canonical Church at the Katerinovka village, Ternopol region. 

“The faithful of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church defended their shrine as they could - they were not armed and tried to negotiate. But the invaders were in an aggressive mood and used clubs and a tear gas, while the faithful sang prayer hymns standing under blows”, the authors of the film reminded. About twenty of those who were defending the church were injured including young seminarians from Pochaev. Later a number of victims were found to suffer from the fractures of limbs and ribs and brain concussion and some had to be hospitalized. 

The film says, “The faithful of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church tried to return their church by juridical means, but everything was against them - the whole system from local officials to courts”. 

The community driven away from their church had to worship in the open at the church fence. However, the severe hardships did not undermine their faithfulness to the canonical Church - they closed ranks and became stronger in spirit. By common efforts, the parishioners began the construction of a new church in January 2017 and already in January 2018 celebrated Christmas in the new church. The newly built church was dedicated to St. Panteleimon the Great Martyr and Healer. The film contains video shots and stories told by members of the community themselves. 

In the Faithful series there was an earlier film entitled “The Faithful - A Hymn to Love”. It is a moving story about Christians in the villages of Butin and Kikhanovtsy, who, having lost two churches did not lose the love of people including their own offenders.

DECR Communication Service/Patriarchia.ru 

Version: Russian, Ukrainian

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