Verbychne village, Turiysk district, the rector of the Church of the Nativity of the Most Holy Mother of God Archpriest Vladimir Greben was publicly accused of ordering to paint over the
emblem of Ukraine on the church gate. It even came to an inquiry of the Deputy Head of Volyn Regional Council, Alexander Pyrozhyk, a member of the «Svoboda» party, to law enforcement bodies
to investigate the provocation and outrage upon the state symbol – in the version of that political power.
According to the rector of the church, provocations indeed have taken place in the village, and he managed to inform the appropriate authorities about them. As Father Vladimir explained, the
Orthodox community has been living quietly so far until a few «activists» appear, one of whom is going to run for the post of the head of the village council this autumn, which includes
Verbychne. A month ago, as it happens traditionally before the seizure of Ukrainian Orthodox churches, they even initiated a village assembly on the denomination jurisdiction of the church,
which, however, had no legal consequences.
A memorable «painting over the emblem of Ukraine» was the scheduled maintenance: the church fence around the premises has been newly repainted in blue. No emblem was painted over on the
fence: the upper bar at the gate had been made yellow-blue before, and during the regular overhaul it was covered with another layer of paint. Time will tell if law enforcement bodies see
anything criminal in it.
When the «hot» publications came out in Volyn press, the believers honored Holy Maccabean Martyrs, the great Orthodox holiday. As it turned out, that very a village meeting on reforming the
village council was held in Verbychne. Of course, newly appeared political activists took a chance with the occasion to change the discussion into the denomination field, but in vain: all
their initiatives proved useless for the villagers.
According to Father Vladimir, who has served the Orthodox community of the village for 38 years, the present church-political core group of activists is strongly connected with the political
party «Svoboda», whose representatives – let us recall – read out a «sensational» inquiry of deputy during the session of Volyn regional council on August 14, 2015.
To learn more about religious freedom infringements committed against the UOC believers you are encouraged to consult our detailed reports and statements: