At an untold number of Christian churches and institutions, the silence on sexual abuse is deafening. Statistically, evangelical pastors rarely mention the issue from the pulpit. According to research from the evangelical publishing company LifeWay, 64 percent of pastors said they talk about sexual violence once a year, or even less than that. Pastors drastically underestimate the number of victims in their congregations; a majority of them guessed in the survey that 10 percent or less might be victims. But in 2016, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that 1 in 4 women (women make up approximately 55 percent of evangelicals) and 1 in 9 men have been sexually abused. There is no evidence suggesting those numbers are lower inside the church.
Assault on the church of the Nativity of the Most Holy Mother of God in Baranovka village
Rector of the Holy Protection Church in vlg. Olkha spoke about the details of the temple storming in Baranovka.
During the storming of the church of the Nativity of the Most Holy Mother of God in Baranovka village, Zhitomir region, the OCU activists attacked clergymen and nuns, told the UOJ schema-archimandrite Amphilochius (Voloschenko), rector of the Holy Protection temple of Olkha village.
Along with the sisters of the Holy Protection nunnery of the Zhitomir Diocese of the UOC, which opened in 2018, he joined the prayer standing in support of the temple of the Nativity of the Most Holy Mother of God.
During the assault, the women and children remained in the temple, while the clergy, men and nuns led a prayer service near the temple. However, activists of the new church structure began to throw clergy over the fence of the temple.
"20 people were thrown out. They beat, strangled, tore off a pectoral cross,” said schema-archimandrite Amphilochius.
Activists of the OCU bit his finger through and were throwing chicken eggs at the nuns. The supporters of the "new church" were trampling the pectoral cross of the priesthood into the ground; they paid no attention to the exclamations of the witnesses struck by what they had seen.
According to Amphilochius, among the sisters who defended the temple was nun Dimitriya (Passevich). Her son Ivan Pasevich, senior lieutenant of the Lvov airborne brigade, deputy commander of the 3rd company of the 80th separate airmobile brigade, died in the ATO zone. Ivan Pasevich, who bore the call signal "Batia" (papa – Ed.), was posthumously honored with the Order of Bogdan Khmelnitsky, III degree. He became an honorary citizen of Liubeshov district of Volyn region, in whose honor a square was laid in the city where his grave is located.
During the attack on the temple in Baranovka, nun Dimitriya reminded the raiders that her son was the ATO hero, but the OCU supporters threw her outside the temple. Obscenities and insults hurled in the address of the hero’s mother.
On March 10, 2019 at 2 pm, hundreds of activists attacked the UOC temple in vlg. Baranovka. The attack of the temple began with the so-called “veche” (popular assembly in medieval Russia – Ed.), convened in the central square of Baranovka by Oleg Kovalsky, the deputy of the Radical Party of Oleg Liashko.
This MP called on patriots to deal with the UOC temple and to determine what kind of church should be in Baranovka – Russian or Ukrainian.
Baranovka believers managed to defend their temple. “About 150 women with children were standing like prayer shields with icons,” said Archpriest Roman Klim, rector of the temple of the Nativity of the Most Holy Mother of God, who spoke about the confrontation between the parishioners of the canonical Church and activists of the OCU. According to him, the siege of the temple lasted until midnight, and only after the supporters of the new church structure had left the territory, the parishioners were able to go home.
The UOJ Editorial Board also reminds: in case of violation of the rights of the episcopate, clergy, laity and institutions of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (obstruction of worship, seizure of churches, commission of provocations and pressure, threats, etc.), one should immediately contact the Legal Department of the UOC by phone: 097 -537-55-96.
Gnezdichno, Ukraine, March 5, 2019
Video has appeared online showing a “priest” of the schismatic “Kiev Patriarchate” and other activists of the schismatic church and the nationalist terrorist group Right Sector beating parishioners, including women, of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church, reports the site of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
The video clearly shows “Father” Ivan Lesik, known for political racketeering, pushing and hitting women parishioners of the canonical Holy Transfiguration Church in the village of Gnezdichno in the Ternopil Province, and the same violence being used by the other schismatics and the Right Sector nationalists. The video also shows police standing idly by, not intervening.
Despite the multitude of such cases, many of which have been caught on video, the hierarchy of the schismatic church continue to insist that no parishes are every forcefully converted.
The press service of the Ukrainian Church stressed that the incident shows how unprotected believers of the canonical Church experience the gross violation of their rights and freedoms.
Supporters of the schismatic church held a village meeting on January 13 at which part of the attendees to move into the schismatic church, though the parish community resolved to remain in the canonical Church. At that time, the parties managed to reach an agreement on peaceful co-existence. However, the schismatics returned and started a fight outside the church in early February, injuring the rector Fr. Stephan Balan at that time. The parishioners showed up to protect their church, though the police took the side of the provocateurs.
Fr. Stephan warned at that time that they were likely planning to return and finally seize the church, which they did on Sunday.
Though the church was to be sealed, with the communities alternating services on the street, they “for the third time broke their own conditions, opened the sealed church, and started celebrating the ‘Liturgy.’ When our faithful came to the church at the end of the service and asked to be given the opportunity to worship in the church, they were sharply refused,” Fr. Stephan explained.
Negotiations continued for a while, while 15-20 Right Sector thugs blocked the entrance to the church.
After some shouts and shoving, the supporters of the OCU, headed by the pseudo-priest Lesik, began to beat and throw the faithful of the UOC out of the church onto street, under shouts of “There will be no Muscovites here.”
In a separate incident in the Ternopil Province, 15 schismatics surrounded the home of Fr. Yaroslav in the village of Trebukhovtsi, demanding that he and his family leave. They say the house also belongs to the church that was seized on February 28, reports the Ukrainian site Vesti.
The schismatics have already removed Fr. Yaroslav’s belongings and plan to build a Sunday School in his house. Meanwhile, the priest and his family will have to move to Ternopil, an hour away from his parishioners.