10 of the 13 Temples in Suzdal have already been seized by the state. The last three are scheduled to be closed by September 10, including the central ROAC Church in Suzdal, the Tsar-Constantine Cathedral (pictured right). Not since days long past in Russia has a police action been taken against Orthodox Christians in this foul manner. Latest news stories below.
9/4: The Federal Property Management agency has changed the locks on the doors of all the ROAC churches save three. At the Tsar-Constantine Cathedral there is a coffin with the ominous words “the rights of the faithful” within. Finally, it was announced after a meeting at the Tsar-Constantine Cathedral, that the cycle of psalms and prayers will be read at the doors of the closed Churches. Original Report from Portal-Credo.
9/4: TV-6 in Vladimir has reported on the outrage of believers as they take down the icons from Churches in their possession many years, as well as noting that they will refuse to attend such “reopened” Churches under the aegis of the Moscow Patriarchate. One parishioner wonders why they left five unused Churches alone. Another is upset because they’ve been parishioners for decades. Most importantly, it notes believers are unanimous in their desire to protect the Tsar-Constantine Cathedral, scheduled for seizure September 10. Parishioners are planning to blockade the church and do a hunger strike. TV-6 notes it is probably not going to make a difference since such actions will likely lead only to more arrests.
9/7: ROAC has been fined 130,000 rubles (about $5,000 US) for “damage” to the buildings as they are being emptied of their icons and vessels.
9/8: Parishioners have been prohibited from holding funeral services for a longtime parishioner of the St Lazarus temple (which has now been sealed) who reposed on September 6. There is now a question of whether ROAC parishes can legally officiate baptisms, weddings, and funerals.