Right by the Polish border is the small parish of Kučiūnai. A small, temporary wooden church was built here already before World War I. In 1939, the faithful of Kučiūnai began to build a brick church, but a new war interfered—the roof and the interior were not finished.
In 1951 workers sent by the rayon administration began to tear down the brick walls, but the faithful chased them away using canes. Then soldiers were sent from the garrison, but they too were compelled to retreat by the people.
During 1957-59, tne Kučiūnai Parochial Committee applied a total of three times to various agencies of the Republic requesting permission to complete the brick church. In 1959 a commission headed by [Miss] Dziržinskaitė inspected the small wooden church and sent back their reply: "Repair the old church!"
In May, 1970, eight hundred believers from Kučiūnai sent a petition to the Council of Ministers of the LSSR once more requesting permission to construct a roof over the brick church. Rugienis replied: "There is no sense in building a new church in Kučiūnai. Repair the old one!"
In December, 1971, a petition was again sent to Leonid Brezhnev, the General-Secretary of the Central Committee of the CPSU, signed by 700 believers and six deputies. It read: "We, the faithful of the parish in Kučiūnai, want to repair an unfinished brick church which is located near a small wooden church that is no longer suited for prayers. This hut-church was built without a foundation for temporary use. Now its walls have begun to rot from contact with the ground. In addition, the wooden church was damaged during the war, and the walls lean from the perpendicular about half a meter, therefore it is impossible to repair. By using the roof, ceiling, and wooden floor of the old church, we can easily repair the brick church, which has good, five-meter-high walls."
In January, 1972, Rugienis summoned first the pastor and later the parochial committee and asked them to calm the people. Later, the chief of the Lazdijai Rayon State Security Committee summoned the pastor. The pastor was accused of inciting the faithful. The security chief declared:
"In these times no one will give you a permit for building a brick church. If anyone starts writing petitions or collecting signatures, we'll put him behind bars, because we have the power to do so... We'll blow up the brick walls of the church; overnight only a pile of rubble will remain. When the firemen arrive, they'll close down the wooden church, and the parish will be liquidated."
The people awaited the return of their pastor impatiently, but great was their disappointment when they heard what had been said by the chief of the security committee.
Officials of the Lazdijai Rayon Executive Committee called together a general meeting of the kolkhoz workers from the K. Požėla Collective Farm and urged the people to present the brick walls to the collective farm to be used in constructing a clubhouse. During the voting, the believers expressed their will unanimously—we won't give them away!
In March representatives of the Executive Committee and the Party committee of the Lazdijai Rayon arrived in the locality of Kučiūnai and, summoning the pastor and the parochial committee, urged them to present the brick walls to the collective farm to be made into a restaurant or to let the people themselves tear down the walls; there'll be bricks for their chimneys.
After this visit by rayon officials, a great commotion arose in the parish. People were saying: "The government not only refuses to permit us to finish the brick church, but also mocks us! Drunkards will be vomiting in the corners of the church!"
In May the Kučiūnai Parochial Committee appealed to the General-Secretary of the Central Committee of the CPSU. Their statement said that the suggestion made by the Lazdijai administration of tearing down sound brick walls and repairing the rotting church was ludicrous, while the suggestion of giving away the brick walls to be used in the construction of a restaurant—that was scandalous.