On Tuesday, July 4, monks and believers of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate prevented the Ministry of Culture Commission from working on the territory of the Kyiv Pechersk Lavra. This was reported by "Suspilne."

 

Representatives of the commission called law enforcement officers and filed a statement about the obstruction of their work. The commission was supposed to seal the buildings of the Lower Lavra that are not used for religious purposes. These buildings are intended to be transferred to the state for use.

 

Maxim Ostapenko, the Acting General Director of the Reserve, stated that the commission possesses an official response from the monastery. The UOC-MP had promised to grant access to the buildings. Ostapenko noted that, according to documents from the Ministry of Culture, the commission has the right to deal with the objects that legally belong to the Reserve.

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The Ministry of Culture had previously announced that the commission was supposed to seal five objects on the territory of the Lower Lavra.

 

On Mar. 10, the Kyiv Pechersk Lavra, also known as the Monastery of the Caves, notified UOC-MP that the agreement allowing for their free use of religious buildings and state-owned property would be terminated on Mar. 29.

“We will not allow the terrorist state to have any opportunity to manipulate the spirituality of our people, to destroy Ukrainian shrines – our Lavras – or to steal any valuables from them,” the President emphasized.

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With the eviction of the UOC-MP, more of the holy site will be occupied by the Orthodox Church of Ukraine – Kyiv Patriarchate (OCU-KP). The OCU-KP was formed in 2019 out of two churches that the Russian Orthodox Church had always deemed illegitimate.

After conducting an audit, the State Audit Service of Ukraine discovered the illegal transfer of cultural heritage monuments and 36 unauthorised buildings on the territory of the Lavra.

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