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Ukraine, Kyiv. The clergy of the Moscow Patriarchate still in the Pachersk Lavra. Kievans are protesting

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The priests of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate have still not left the Pechersk Lavra in Kiev, although they were supposed to do so by Thursday. For this reason, some residents protest on Friday in front of the temple complex. However, there are also faithful to the Moscow patriarchate who pray.

Clergy subordinate to Moscow The Ukrainian Orthodox Church was due to leave the Pechersk Lavra in Kiev on Wednesdaywhen the term of the contract for the free use of this land expired. However, that did not happen. The monks still hold services there and do not intend to leave their buildings.

Some pray, others demand to leave the Lavra

TVN24 journalist Oleh Bilecki reported on Friday from the Ukrainian capital that people gathered at this symbolic monastery complex around noon. He stipulated that they were divided into “two categories of people”. As he said, closer to the Lavra are the faithful of the Moscow Patriarchate, who have been praying for several hours. – The second category of people are those who advocate the immediate implementation of the decision of the Ministry of Culture Ukraine. Let me remind you that according to this decision, the Moscow church was supposed to leave the Lavra yesterday, Biłecki said.

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He emphasized that “the Lavra is the property of the state, not the church, and it is the state, i.e. the Ministry of Culture, that decides what the future of the Lavra will be.” He added that the clergy was planning more services for Friday and did not intend to leave the building.

Pechersk Lavra – the most important center of Orthodoxy

The Pechersk Lavra – the most important center of Orthodoxy in Ukraine – is a huge monastery complex, entered on the UNESCO list. Since the 1960s, this valuable monument has had the status of a museum, although Orthodox monks returned there after 1990. The Pechersk Lavra belongs to the Ukrainian state and is managed by the Ministry of Culture.

Demands to end leases intensified after the armed invasion Russia to Ukraine in 2022. Discussions are also underway in Ukraine about a ban on the activities of the Moscow Patriarchate’s church.

On Friday, Ukrainian Culture Minister Oleksandr Tkachenko announced that the monks of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate (UCP) are to leave all rooms of the most important complex of Orthodox temples by March 29. “The agreement on the free use of the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra by the Ukrainian Orthodox Church is terminated on March 29, 2023. This applies to all rooms that the UCP rents in the Lavra,” the minister announced in an entry on the Telegram channel.

Main photo source: TVN24

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