KIEV, January 10. /TASS/. Unknown attackers robbed and desecrated the St Panteleimon’s church in the city of Chernomorsk, Odessa region, the Odessa diocese of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church reporting to Moscow Patriarchate said at its homepage on Wednesday.
"The malefactors penetrated the building though a door located at its rear side," the report said. "In search for loot, they ripped up all the alms boxes. Upon seeing they boxes didn’t contain the desired amounts of money, the attackers began to smash the alter and everything around them."
"The broke the holy gate and sprayed all the inner space of the church with powder from the fire extinguishers kept there," the diocese said.
The incident occurred on the night from January 9 to January 10.
The report added that 19 robberies and desecrations of Orthodox churches occurred on the territory of the diocese in 2017 and the police did not resolve a single of them. The incidents continued this year, too, and they expose the desire of some forces to blow up the fruitful interreligious situation that has taken shape in the Odessa region in recent decades.
"We are calling once again on the national police and other agencies empowered to cut short the attempts to destabilize the social and political situation in the Odessa region to clear out this highly alarming situation," the report said.
On January 9, Ukrainian radicals staged protests near the churches reporting to Moscow Patriarchate in the Odessa region. They plastered posters indicating affiliation of the parishes on the entrances to the church compounds.
The organizers of the protests said they informed the public in this way that the parishes of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church were, in their opinion, affiliations of Russian secret services.