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Entry to Kiev-Pechersk Lavra is Restricted to Parishioners

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Moscow, April 20 – The Union of Orthodox Journalists reports that parishioners are gathering in the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra, but they are not allowed to enter.
Earlier on Thursday, the syndicate reported that a message had been received about the “mining” of the Lavra, and law enforcement officers had arrived at the scene.
“Parishioners who have come to worship gather in the Lavra. They are not allowed to enter,” the Orthodox Journalists Syndicate said in a message on its Telegram channel.

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A new round of conflict over the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra began with the notification of the University of British Columbia of the Ministry of Culture of Ukraine about the unilateral termination of the lease of the monastery, since the monks were asked to leave the Lavra on March 29. Ukraine’s Minister of Culture Oleksandr Tkachenko said that the monks could stay in the Lavra, provided they were transferred to the dissident OCU. However, the abbot of the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra, Metropolitan Pavel (Lebed), said that there can be no concessions in the Lavra, the brethren will stand to the end. He also said that unilaterally breaking the lease agreement for the Lavra premises is impossible, a court decision is needed, and a lawsuit on the inadmissibility of terminating the lease was filed with the Kiev Economic Court.
Earlier, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and the All-Russian called the authorities’ order for the monks to leave the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra, which Orthodox Christians consider one of the earthly inheritances of the Mother of God, to be a “monstrous act.” He addressed the heads of the local Orthodox Churches, Pope Francis, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and other religious leaders and representatives of international organizations with letters calling on them to “make every effort” to prevent the expulsion of monks and congregations. Closing the monastery. Pope Francis also expressed concern about the situation with the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra and called on “parties involved in the war to respect religious sites”.
Over the past year, Ukrainian authorities have staged the largest wave of persecution of UBC in the country’s recent history. Referring to its connection with Russia, local authorities in various regions of Ukraine decided to ban the activities of the UOC, and a bill on the actual ban in Ukraine was submitted to the country’s parliament. The authorities imposed sanctions on some representatives of the clergy at the University of Oklahoma. The Security Service of Ukraine began to open criminal cases against the clergy of the University of British Columbia, to conduct “counter-intelligence activities” – searches of bishops and priests, in churches and monasteries, in search of evidence of “anti-Ukrainian activities”.

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