Church of UOC priest, whose son fights in AFU, converted to OCU via fraud
The Peter and Paul Church of the UOC in the village of Lenkivtsi, Chernivtsi region, was transferred to the OCU against the will of the parishioners and the rector.
On November 19, 2023, 74 residents of the village of Lenkivtsi in the Chernivtsi region held a meeting in the local House of Culture and voted to transfer the Peter and Paul Church of the UOC to the OCU against the will of the members of the community and the rector of the church, Archpriest Mykola Rus. The priest shared this information in an address published on the Chernivtsi Diocese's Facebook page.
According to the rector of the church, believers of the UOC were not allowed to attend the meeting, including his son – a soldier of the Armed Forces of Ukraine who had been on the front line for almost 2 years. The organizers of the vote also did not allow the mothers of 10 servicemen, whose sons defend Ukraine on the front lines or have returned home with injuries and concussions, to enter the hall.
Fr. Mykola said that a week before the meeting, the church community sent official appeals to the SBU, the prosecutor's office, the Chernivtsi Regional State Administration, and local authorities. In these appeals, believers stated that the initiators and participants of the upcoming vote were not members of the religious community, and therefore, the planned vote was illegal.
The priest also noted that on the same day, more than 200 believers held their meeting in the Peter and Paul Church and unanimously voted to remain loyal to the UOC and Metropolitan Onuphry.
"Later, they (supporters of the OCU) announced that the meeting took place, that 74 people voted for the transfer of the UOC community to the OCU. There are about 2,000 people living in our village. 74 out of 2,000 people could not decide anything. We had more than 200 UOC believers at the meeting near the church," he said.
As reported by the UOJ, in Lenkivtsi, hundreds of believers defended the Peter and Paul Church of the UOC.