Serbian Patriarch Porfiry March 28 declaredthat the Serbian Orthodox Church is deeply concerned about terror against the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC), which will culminate in the expulsion of monks from the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra.
“The Serbian Orthodox Church with deep concern, longing and compassionate brotherly love looks at the “patience of the saints” in Ukraine, looks at the pressure, violence and persecution that the current Ukrainian government is perpetrating against the canonical church <…>. The forthcoming pinnacle of terror has also been announced — the expulsion of 250 monks and many hundreds of professors and students of theology from the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra,” he said in a special “Appeal in connection with state terror against the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.”
Patriarch Porfiry called on all churches and religious organizations of the world to condemn terror and the violation of the rights of believers in Ukraine. He also called what is happening with the UOC “terrible injustice.”
Meanwhile, on March 29, the Federation Council will consider the statement of the chamber in connection with the facts of violation of the rights of believers in Ukraine, the issue is included in the agenda of the meeting. Senators intend to draw the attention of parliaments around the world to this.
Supporters of the schismatic Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU) on March 28 seized the Cathedral of the Nativity of Christ, the last temple of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC) in Ivano-Frankivsk. The police are not involved in what is happening. The clergy of the temple in Ivano-Frankivsk stopped communicating.
On March 25, police officers stopped a bus with a group of pilgrims in the middle of the night, forbidding them to go to the Pochaev Lavra. In connection with the disrupted pilgrimage, the parishioners of the UOC are ready to go on a hunger strike.
On March 23, the UOC appealed to believers with an appeal to defend the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra by all legal means. On this day, the Ukrainian police cordoned off the monastery.
On March 18, it was reported that supporters of the schismatic OCU beat believers of the canonical UOC during the raider seizure of the temple in the village of Yurkovtsy, Chernivtsi region. At the same time, a group of several dozen people broke open the entrance doors to the temple with the help of a grinder.
Before that, on March 10, it became known that the monks of the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra must leave the monastery before March 29 of this year. On March 15, Minister of Culture of Ukraine Oleksandr Tkachenko said that the monks of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church could stay in the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra if they transferred to the Orthodox Church of Ukraine.
On the same day, Russia’s permanent representative to the UN, Vasily Nebenzya, noted that the desire of the Kyiv authorities to expel the monks from the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra could lead to a surge in fratricidal war in the country.
In 2022, the Ukrainian authorities stepped up their actions against the UOC. They searched the homes of bishops and priests, churches and monasteries, including the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra, in order to find traces of “anti-Ukrainian activities.” Thus, in December 2022, the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) opened 50 criminal cases against priests of the UOC.
The schismatic OCU, with the support of the authorities, is carrying out massive raider seizures of churches, nationalists attack the clergy and believers. The monks of the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra are being expelled from the monastery – they will be able to stay only if they transfer to the OCU.
The Kremlin said that in this way the Kiev regime once again demonstrated what Russia is fighting against and what it must stop.
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