ENGLISH VERSION: ROAC community in Trubchevsk achieved ceasing of desecration of its church by teenagers from new owners
Three teenagers invited by the new owner of St. Elias church in Trubchevsk, Bryansk region, on June 20th desecrated the church for several hours and caused damage to it as a historical and architectural monument. This is stated in the message of the Trubchevsk community of the Russian Orthodox Autonomous Church (ROAC), received on June 24th by editors of the "Credo.Press" Portal. On May 15th, by court decision, the church was handed over to the community of the diocese of Klintsy of the Russian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate). The ROAC community that revived the church since 1989 and performed their regular service was forced to move to a baptismal building, located next door.
According to the testimony of community members, confirmed by several photographs, teenagers with lit cigarettes came to the church, and scraped fragments from the walls, which they threw at pedestrians. The parishioners of the ROAC notified the rector of the parish of the Russian Orthodox Church, who occupied St. Elias church, the priest Magon, who came to the church within an hour and turned the teenagers away from the church.
The Trubchevsk ROAC community reminds that according to the Twentieth Arbitration Court of Appeal of the Russian Federation and the Arbitration Court of the Central District of the Russian Federation decisions, the St. Elias Church in Trubchevsk is recognized as a historical and cultural monument of federal importance. In accordance with law, any repair and restoration work in such a monument requires a special license, and workers who only have a special permit may be allowed to work. The official purpose of inviting teenagers to the church on June 20th was to carry out repair work.
On July 24th 2018 the Arbitration Court of the Bryansk Region denied the Klintsy diocese of the ROC MP in satisfaction of its claim for the transfer of the ROAC church in Trubchevsk to them. However, on December 26, the appellate court overturned this decision and satisfied the claim. The ROAC community received the St. Elias church for perpetual and free use in 1991, when it was in a state of ruins. Gradually, the temple was restored; services there were performed by the permanent abbot, archpriest Vladimir Kovtun. After formation of the Klintsy diocese of the ROC MP, the act of transferring the church from municipal to federal property was accomplished, and the Federal Property Management Agency issued an order transferring it to the Moscow Patriarchate, which already has 5 churches in the small district center Trubchevsk.
The Church of St. Elias was the last historical church building of the ROAC community in the Russian Federation after the 2017 Church of Vladimir withdrawal at Bozhedomka in Yaroslavl. Earlier, in 2006, the state took away yet another church from the St. Olga parish of the ROAC in Zheleznovodsk, Stavropol region, a church which was built in the 1990s with the parish’s own efforts, meanwhile in 2009-10 16 churches of the ROAC community in Suzdal and its region were seized, most of which were abandoned after the seizure and are now gradually being destroyed.