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Strikes by Ukrainian military destroy second Eastern Orthodox church in Donbass

August 26, 2014, 4:10 UTC+3 DONETSK
The church in the name of St John of Kronstadt was built by local residents about 20 years ago for the money they had raised
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© ITAR-TASS / Konstantin Sazonchik, File

DONETSK, August 26 /ITAR-TASS/. Shells fired by Ukrainian troops have destroyed by a square hit a second Eastern Orthodox church in the war-torn Donetsk region, Georgy Guliyev, the press secretary of the Donetsk Diocese of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church reporting to Moscow Patriarchate said on this page in Facebook.

“August 25, there was a square hit at the church in the name of St John of Kronstadt, which is located in the western suburbs of Donetsk,” he said. “The shelling caused fire, which destroyed all the churchware and vests.”

By a lucky chance, no one was killed or wounded. The father superior of the St John’s church, the Reverent Alexander Matveyev, and some of the parishioners took shelter in the basement floor throughout the day.

“But father Alexander took the antimension (a consecrated cloth kept altar, to which is sewn a linen or silk bag containing relics of saints - Itar-Tass) and the holy sacraments out of the church on his chest before the shelling began,” Guliayev said.

The church in the name of St John of Kronstadt was built by local residents about 20 years ago for the money they had raised.

This is the second instance of an Orthodox church being destroyed over the past three days.

“On the night of last Saturday, a shell hit a cupola of a church, also named after St John of Kronstadt, in the town of Kirovskoye” Matveyev recalled. Three persons died under the collapsing fragments of the building.

Over the past six months, Ukrainian military have opened fire at churches in Eastern Ukraine on about ten occasions. One of the incidents occurred when humanitarian aid was being distributed on the church compound.

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