A church has been firebombed in central Ukraine in an attack illustrating profound religious divisions of the country, which have worsened as a result of Russia's seizing Ukraine's Crimean peninsula two years ago, the Christian Today website reports today (November 7, 2016).
Molotov cocktails were hurled at the Church of SS Cyril and Methodius in Pavlograd, according to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
The church -- which sustained significant damage -- is part of the Moscow Patriarchate of the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC), which is under the authority of Patriarch Kirill, head of the ROC. A rival branch of the Orthodox Church -- the Kiev Patriarchate -- rejects Russian control of Ukrainian churches and is associated with Ukrainian nationalism.
The Orthodox Church statement said three Molotov cocktails were thrown, with the resulting fire damaging prayer books and the central part of the church, including icons and frescoes.