14 Mar 2023 12:07

Kievo-Pecherskaya Lavra abbot says UOC monks won't leave monastery

MOSCOW. March 14 (Interfax) - The monks of the Kievo-Pecherskaya Lavra are not going to fulfill the Ukrainian authorities' demand ordering their eviction from the monastery, Metropolitan Pavel of Vyshgorod and Chernobyl, the Lavra abbot, said in a video address.

"We do not intend to be evicted and will not be evicted, because there are laws that are on people's side. And no one must threaten us that we will be disposed of [...] It is not 1917. There is a peace-loving community today, there is some culture," the metropolitan said in his address.

The monastery's monks "are not opposed to all lawful actions, but there can be no unlawful ones," he said.

"We are citizens of our state. We have lived here since 1988. Many of us have no place other than this one. We dedicated our youth, our life to it, and no one can tear us away from the love of God," the metropolitan said.

Last Sunday, the Orthodox Church marked the day of remembrance of the Synaxis of All the Holy Venerable Fathers of the Kievo-Pecherskaya Lavra. Metropolitan Pavel believes that the mass participation of followers of Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC) in those festivities confirmed their position regarding the monastery's fate.

Earlier, the Kievo-Pecherskaya Lavra national reserve demanded that the Ukrainian Orthodox Church leave the territory of the monastery by March 29, citing alleged violations by the UOC during its use of this state property.

Ukrainian Culture Minister Alexander Tkachenko said that if the UOC refuses to leave the Kievo-Pecherskaya Lavra, representatives of the Ukrainian Security Service and the Interior Ministry will be included in the revision commission.