9 Dec 2018 there was arson of Holy Trinity Church in Rzhyshchiv, Kyiv oblast (bila Tserkva diocese), which completely burned down the doors and damaged wall paintings, reports patriarhiei.
According to the clergyman of the temple priest George Hicki, at 7 am, leaving home at the Sunday divine Liturgy, he saw smoke over the Holy Trinity Church. The priest immediately called the fire Department and the police.
“The fire service arrived at the scene, began to extinguish the burning door, which at that time already almost completely burned down, and the right side of the temple, where flames spread. Then he ran to the parishioners, they began to help extinguish the Church, which was all in smoke,” — said father George.
According to preliminary information, the criminal proceedings are opened under article “Violation of established by legislation requirements of fire security” and “Arson”.
As told by the priest Rideskole deanery of the diocese of bila Tserkva, the police arrived on the scene late, when firefighters managed to extinguish the fire, and not even interviewed witnesses at the scene.
A short time later the priest George, the Gig was summoned to the National police Department for questioning as a witness. In response to his statement that there was arson of the temple, which is a monument of architecture of XIX century, father George encouraged not to mention it because it may complicate the situation for the clergy of the Church of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, since “the state can impose a fine for failure to store awarded the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the monument.”
The priest testified that he saw the alleged arsonist, the night before stealing metal items from the temple. The attacker was caught by the priest, the police, however, said that there was “inadvertent arson,” citing the fact that the attacker was “drunk”. The suspect in the presence of father George admitted that the “hate waste” at the door of the temple, where, according to the fire service and the fire started.
At present, the suspect is under house arrest for “petty crimes”, as he described them to the police. Earlier the suspect had committed unlawful acts against Holy Trinity Church. In particular, he stole from the Church donations of the parishioners, however, was not instituted by the police due to “lack of documents on donations”.
“Anyway, I see an indifferent and biased attitude of law enforcement officers, — said priest Georgy Gig. — And during-treatment in police with the statement that the burning of the temple, the operator first of all began to clarify what the temple. When I said that “not mosque, not synagogue, and the temple of God”, then I said, “You don’t understand what the Patriarchate is the Church?” This is absurd but fact is fact. The police were more interested in not the testimony of witnesses and the identity of the suspect, and what we of the Patriarchy”.