St. Demetrius Church
Verkhnotoretske township, Donetsk region
historical and architectural monument
March 26, 2022
St. Demetrius Church in the township of Verkhnotoretske, Donetsk region, dedicated to the holy martyr Demetrius of Thessaloniki, is one of the oldest in the region. Its construction began in 1850 and was completed in 1861, celebrating the abolition of serfdom in the Russian empire. In 1938, during the Soviet era, the church was closed and the bell tower destroyed. It was turned into a cinema and later into a granary. During the German occupation, it was used as a stable. In 1943, after the liberation of Donbas, the church was reopened for worship.
Its condition was deplorable, but the ancient interior paintings of the 19th century have been preserved. During the 1960s and 1970s, the restoration of the church began. The local community continued this process for decades, and in 2020-2021 the church bell tower was restored.
On March 26, 2022, the Russian invaders fired on the old building of St. Demetrius Church. As a result of the shelling, the facades and the roof of the church were severely damaged, the windows were broken, and the interior of the church was damaged.