UOC community of Singury: Year of daily prayer for preservation of church

13 February 2020 21:04
Детский хор Свято-Крестовоздвиженского храма в селе Сингуры. Фото: личный архив религиозной общины УПЦ Детский хор Свято-Крестовоздвиженского храма в селе Сингуры. Фото: личный архив религиозной общины УПЦ

Since the first attempt to seize a UOC temple in Singury a year ago, the believers have become more united and even created a children's church choir.

A little over a year has passed since the first attempt to transfer the Holy Cross Exaltation Church of the Zhytomyr Eparchy of the UOC in the village of Singury to the OCU. A UOJ correspondent talked to the rector of the religious community of the church, Archpriest Vadim Davniuk, and found out what this year has been for his parishioners.

“What has changed over this year? There are no conflicts. It is only a matter of litigation. Our opponents forged the documents and for this year we have been unable to advance a single step, because all the courts, all state authorities refuse us,” said Archpriest Vadim.

He explained that a group of individuals illegally changed data on a religious community as a legal entity. Supporters of the new church structure threatened at the first talk of a possible seizure of the church on February 2, 2019, that they would act in this way.

“The data have been amended that the owner is changed. We do not agree with this. They immediately warned us what they would do: ‘If you don’t hand over the temple to us, we will do this and that.’ That’s exactly what they did,” said the clergyman.

At the beginning of the conflict, the community was divided in half, but it was precisely those people who regularly go to church and participate in the community’s life as much as possible who remained faithful to the UOC, he added.

According to the rector, what was happening did not shake the faith of the parishioners of the Holy Cross Exaltation Church. On the contrary, they have become more united and focused on creation: a children's choir has been opened at the church, and the number of Sunday school pupils has increased. But the main thing is a daily joint prayer for the preservation of the community and the temple.

 “Throughout this time, we all, all members of our community, pray at the same time every day. We have been praying for the preservation of our temple and our community throughout the year every day. We began to react more sensitively to each other's problems. People more often help one another outside the church,” Archpriest Vadim told the UOJ correspondent.

On January 31, 2019, in the village of Singury, Zhytomyr region, the religious community of the Holy Cross Exaltation Church unanimously confirmed allegiance to the UOC and its Primate, Metropolitan Onuphry of Kyiv and All Ukraine.

Since February 2, 2019, activists of the OCU has attempted to "organize the transfer" of the community to the newly created church structure.

On March 5, 2019, a group of people declared that they were the successors of the current religious community of the UOC (according to documents allegedly issued by the UOC-KP) and tried to seize the temple of the canonical Church. An activist of the Kyiv Patriarchate then declared that she was the “head of the new community”. According to Archpriest Vadim, now this group relates itself to the OCU.

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