Radical nationalists have reportedly seized a church in western Ukraine, beating the faithful in the process. The violence comes amid expectations of a schism-threatening acknowledgement of an independent church in Ukraine.
According to a statement published on the website of the Moscow-subordinate canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church, a group of Ukrainian radical nationalists seized by force a church located in the town of Bogorodchany in the Ivano-Frankovsk region of Ukraine.
The radicals overpowered local residents, who tried to stop their raid, beating some of the defenders before throwing them out of the church, the report said. One man had his arm broken while another receive a skull fracture, the statement said. The nationalists then replaced the locks on the doors of the church with new ones, it added.
The report of violence comes amid fears of religious tensions in the Christian community. The Christian Orthodox faithful is already split into three groups, with the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate being the biggest. Two other churches are considered schismatic by the rest of the Orthodox churches, but that may change soon, since the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople announced it will soon recognize the existence of a canonical Orthodox Church independent from the Moscow Patriarchate. Full Report on RT News