ENGLISH VERSION: Suzdal Diocese of ROAC forced to Abandon Church of St. George the Great Martyr in Village of Krapivye, Suzdal Province
The sole remaining historical church in use by faithful of the Russian Orthodox Autonomous Church (ROAC) in the Vladimir region, the Church of St. George the Trophy-bearer in the village of Krapivye, Suzdal district, has been taken away from the faithful by representatives of the government and of the Moscow Patriarchate at the end of March, a correspondent of "Portal-Credo.Ru" reports on information he received from the Suzdal Diocesan Administration of the ROAC.
During court hearings 2009-2010, when 16 churches were taken away from the ROAC in Suzdal and its surrounding area, the church in Krapivye had been allowed to be used for the continual use of the Suzdal diocese of the ROAC, since it had been taken away only from the local religious community of the ROAC. The dishonest and cunning decision made about this church was explained by saying that, in contrast to the other churches that had been taken away, the church in Krapivye was only in the beginning stages of being restored, and the authorities should wait until the ROAC had completed its restoration activities before taking it away. Starting in 2012, a section of the church began to be used by a local community of the Moscow Patriarchate for its services. According to a representative of the Suzdal diocesan administration of the ROAC, representatives of the government suggested to them to voluntarily remove all of their property from the church, threatening that if they fail to do so, they will never see their property again. The attempt by representatives of the Church to point out the lack of any legal basis for such a demand elicited an ironic response from the opposite side, accompanied by the suggestion that it “take the matter up with the courts, if it is not happy with the situation”.
In addition, a highly placed representative of the Vladimir archdiocese of the Moscow Patriarchate stated that it has been decided to leave “the ROAC alone” until Pascha, at which time the Church will start to have “new problems” unless its chief bishop sits down at the table for negotiations with the Moscow Patriarchate.
As of this writing, ROAC communities in the Vladimir region remain only in the city of Suzdal (where in addition to two parishes, there are also two monasteries of the ROAC), and in the villages of Ves’, Omutskoye and Krapivye.