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Head of Russian Church: Those Who Burned 48 People Alive in Odessa in 2014 Were Under 'Influence of the Devil'

His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia celebrated the Divine Liturgy at Holy Protection Monastery in Moscow on May 2, the Thursday of Bright Week, for the 20th anniversary of the canonization of the greatly-beloved St. Matrona of Moscow.

Following the service, the Patriarch also addressed the faithful with a word on those who tragically lost their lives in the terrible events of May 2, 2014 in Odessa, when 48 people burned to death inside the Trade Unions House in the city center, reports the site of the Russian Orthodox Church.

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He noted:

Today we remember the tragic events in Odessa. Five years ago, before the face of Europe and the whole world, people were beaten with rocks, while they remained in their tents, posing no danger to others. They only defended their right to live as they wanted, to not be subjected to other, alien orders; they didn’t want to accept the world order being imposed on them by force. But for the criminals it wasn’t enough to throw rocks at their tents. When people jumped out of them and ran to the Trade Unions House—its name is known today throughout the entire world—the criminals, persecuting them, locked the building and set it on fire. Then 48 people burned alive before the face of Europe and the entire world. Of course, some try to interpret what happened as the peculiarities of the political struggle of the time, but the atrocities committed against people cannot be explained by anything other than as an act of the devil’s power.

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“All those who burned people alive were under the dominion of the devil,” the Patriarch emphasized, noting that despite the danger that “these criminals, overcome by dark forces, would take power” over all the people of Ukraine, this did not happen.

Photo: pravoslavie.ru

“Although many questions remain today about what is happening in Ukraine, we can testify that the radical forces of evil, of the wickedness of the devil, embodied in human forms, did not completely seize power over the Ukrainian land,” His Holiness stressed.

“Today, remembering this terrible event, we pray for our brothers and sisters in Ukraine. We offer a memorial prayer for the 48 martyrs who were burned alive in Odessa. We pray that the Lord would bless the life of our fraternal Ukraine,” His Holiness said, expressing hope that the new leadership of the country would respect the people’s choice in favor of the canonical Church.

The clergy of the Odessa Diocese of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church also held a memorial service at the place of the tragedy, reports the diocesan press service.

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In his sermon, His Grace Bishop Diodoros of Yuzhoe, vicar of the Odessa Diocese, noted that the Ukrainian Church constantly prays for the repose of those who died in the May tragedy and asks God that peace and harmony would ever prevail in their God-protected city.

With the blessing of His Eminence Metropolitan Agafangel of Odessa and Izmail, memorial services were held in all churches of the Diocese of Odessa.

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