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Archpriest Igor Dronov: Orthodox priests of Kirghizia sheltered people in the church
Translated from Russian by Julia Zubkova for pravmir.com
Jun 18, 2010, 01:44
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- Father Igor, what is the situation like in the country, what is going on?

- An inhumane provocation occurred in the country. On June 11, at 23-00 on the streets of Osh city quite unexpectedly the shots were fired, the houses, cars and buildings of cultural significance were set on fire. Panic-stricken people have gone into hiding in the houses and calling militia. Militia came and started to fire point blank at people. The Uzbeks first.  Then the same militiamen, having changed into the national Uzbek dress, started shooting the Kyrgyz.

Provocative rumors started to be spread in order to push together the Kyrgyz and Uzbeks. Only in a day the people understood that it had been a provocation. But it was too late. A bloody flywheel of inter-ethnic hatred was set going.

Yet it is difficult to calculate by now how many people have been killed, but the numbers will amount to thousands, not hundreds.  Dark foreign cars with toned windows were careering about the city and shooting indiscriminately. The snipers were shooting from the roofs of the houses and the mount Sulaiman-Too, situated in the center of the city. Marauding broke out, the Uzbeks houses and business was robbed. The city was flooded by alien Kyrgyz youth armed with whatever. Their eyes were glassy and the state deranged. No one opposed riots. No one tried to arrest anybody, though armored carrier vehicles drove along the city.

There were also clear moments inside this moral darkness. I was told by the witnesses of events, that during an attack on the Uzbek mahalle (residential quarter in Muslim countries editors note) a Kyrgyz, a youth about 18 years old was taken captive. They laid him his face down on the asphalt, surrounded him and wondered what to do with him about 5 minutes or so. Then they lifted him up from the ground, apologized and let him go. Also the Kyrgyz hid the Uzbeks from other Kyrgyz in their houses.

The witnesses say that the city was terrorized by a gang of hired assassins, to whom the local criminal organization joined, with total number of 200-300 people.

Then the hired assassins moved to Jalal-Abad, where the same scenario repeated.

Now in the cities of Osh, Jalal-Abad and their suburbs there is a grievous recovery to life after the bloody nightmare of the last days.  On the surface everything has smoothed down.At least they do not shoot.  But the people have survived through a great shock which they wont get over quickly.  Now the problem of physical survival arises because there is no food and it cannot be bought anywhere, even if you have money.

- Does the conflict concern Russian-speaking population?

On the large scale the Russian-speaking population was not involved in this conflict, though there are separate victims both among Russians and Tartars, and representatives of other nationalities.  But, no doubt, the Russian-speaking population suffered moral damages.  It is hard to stay in the epicenter of mindless and ruthless anger.

- How does the Orthodox Church help people these days?  With what questions and requests do the people apply? Do the people expect anything from the Church in such a situation?

- Certainly, the Church participates in what is happening now. Humanitarian aid food stuff, infant foods are gathered and sent to the South.

Of course, everyone is praying. Throughout the Churches of Kirghizia the divine services are performed in the usual way without change.

Archpriest Victor Reimgen, Dean of the Osh district, officiated at the Church of St. Michael the Archangel in Osh on Saturday and Sunday. On Sunday, when the epicenter of outrage moved to   Jalal-Abad, he performed the rite of the blessing of water and walked in a sacred procession around the whole quarter, in which the church is situated, aspersed with holy water the fighting equipment and soldiers. Now he is distributing humanitarian aid that comes from Bishkek. It is very important, because there are separate cases of selling humanitarian aid to the population.

Priest Sergy Khorishko, who serves in Jalal-Abad, sheltered during the riots the Uzbek families and his parishioners right in the church. He prevented arson of two adjoining Uzbek houses.

The people expect from the Church an authoritative word of reconciliation of enmity, appeal to peace and order.  Metropolitan Vladimir of Bishkek and Central Asia addressed the people of Kyrgyzstan . Many TV-channels ask to the Church for ethic evaluation of what is going on.

It will take time to comprehend what has happened.  I think that it will result in certain propositions to the authorities as for prevention of the conflicts of the kind in future.

- The readers of the website Orthodoxy and the World are asking how to render assistance.

One may transfer money in rubles, US dollars or Euro to account indicated on the main page of our official site. This is an account of the church in Leninskoye village, where I serve. The church is already built and the account is out of use. But it may serve one more time to collect funds for buying humanitarian aid for the residents of the destroyed cities and villages in the south of Kirghizia. I guarantee that the products will be delivered to their destination.

- Thank you, Father Igor, let me wish You Gods assistance and protection on these fearful days.

Anna Danilova

Account of the church in Leninskoye village to which the aid may be transferred: Leninskoye village, Kirghizia.  Bank account of the parish at JSC Commercial Bank of Kyrgyzstan 1030120000761177 BIK 103001. It is a multi-currency account and can receive Kyrgyzstan soms, Russian rubles, Kazakhsatn tenge, US dollars and Euro.

Stop! Address by Metropolitan Vladimir of Bishkek and Central Asia to the people of  Kyrgyzstan

Russian text - courtesy of the online magazine "Orthodoxy and the world". Translated from Russian by Julia Zubkova

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Kirghizia. An Uzbek on the ruins of his house. Photo by Reuters

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Kirghizia. Photo by Reuters.

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Kirghizia. Refugees. Photo by Reuters

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Kirghizia. A grandmother showing pictures of her missing grandchildren. Photo by Reuters

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Kirghizia. Photos by ERA

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Kirghizia. Photo by Reuters

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Kirghizia. On the ruins of a house. Photo by Reuters

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Kirghizia. A woman with a shawl that her murdered pregnant sister had on.  Photo by Reuters

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Kirghizia. Photo by Reuters

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Kirghizia. Photo by Reuters

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Kirghizia. Photo by Reuters

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Panic at the border. Photo by http://www.eurasianet.org

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Panic at the border. Photo by http://www.eurasianet.org

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Panic at the border. Photo by http://www.eurasianet.org


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