Representatives of the UOC MP have no intention of leaving the Lavra. The believers started a protest.
On Wednesday, March 29, the UOC MP began leaving Nizhny Lavra. However, Metropolitan Pavlo stated that his parish will not leave the shrine until all legal proceedings are completed.
On the morning of March 30, clergymen of the UOC held a service in the Lavra. Almost immediately after that, representatives of the Ministry of Culture arrived at the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra, who were supposed to start the process of transferring the property of the shrine to the state. However, it was not possible to do so – the door to the temple was closed.
Representatives of the Monastery of the Assumption of the Holy Assumption of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra, which are part of the Commission, could not explain who has the keys. At the same time, believers began to block the entrance to the building.
When the representatives of the commission left the place, believers continued to gather in front of the church door for prayer.
We arrived at the Lavra at about 11:30. There is a large crowd of law enforcement officers around the entrances to the temple complex. At the same time, clerical cars continue to leave the territory of the Lavra. The police, together with experts, are checking each of them in detail.
“I am an expert. I control that valuables that were transferred to nature reserves back in the 70s are not exported. Everything is under supervision. We were also present during the packing. So far, there have been no cases when they wanted to bring out something prohibited. Everything is under supervision. We have no idea how long it will last,” said an expert who checked icons and other church artifacts for their value and historical significance.
The police officers with whom it was possible to communicate said that they arrived en masse on the territory of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra due to the fact that a large number of people gather there. The task of law enforcement officers here is to monitor law and order in order to avoid possible provocations and conflicts.
The police said that as of the 13th, no offenses had been recorded. The situation near the Lavra is under control.
Meanwhile, on the territory of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra, prayers do not stop for a minute. Some of the believers go home, and some, on the contrary, come. Among them are men and women of different ages, there are also young people. “Evening Kyiv” talked to people who gathered near the church. Opinions differ.
The reaction of believers to journalists is ambiguous. Someone aggressively shouts the phrases “Evil”, “Damn” and “How much were you paid?”, someone simply avoids comments, and someone, on the contrary, is ready for a dialogue in order to “hear each other”.
“I am standing because my grandmother brought me to this church a long time ago. She did not say whether the Moscow Patriarchate is Moscow or not. She said that they pray to God here, and I knew that this is God’s house. I have never spoken for politics, and I have never heard it in church.
If there are fathers here who are pro-Russian, who are conducting some kind of agitation, then I know very well that today we have such equipment that could clean up who is breathing what. Punish this father, and don’t sow discord,” one of the believers told “Vechirnyi Kyiv”.
To the question of where they will come to pray when the representatives of the UOC MP finally leave the Lavra, the woman answered:
“God will remain in my soul, because nothing can be imposed by force. On the contrary, I will not go where I am sent by force. And I will not go anywhere from my country. We will accept everything, but the pain in the soul will be even greater.”
Another religious woman answered that she would pray at home, because “there is no Ukrainian patriarchate as such.” Among the faithful there were even those who supported the Russian Orthodox Church (despite the fact that the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Russian Orthodox Church does not consider itself a part of the Russian Orthodox Church in public statements).
And some believers to the question “What do you pray for in the morning?” they answered that “Minister of Culture Tkachenko knows, ask him.”
One of the women said that she will pray until the end of her life, and she will stop protesting only “when there is no threat.”
When asked what the current threat was, the woman answered: “not what, but who,” without clarifying what she meant.
The overwhelming number of believers who went to pray are older people. However, there were also young people.
“I came here as a believer. They said that they would take the Lavra away and turn it into a museum. I don’t see anything happening here. People are praying. But if there are any actions, then I will be on the side of the Lavra and the monastery, because I have been coming here since birth.
I believe that if there are any complaints against Pavel, then it is necessary to deal with him personally. All other believers should not suffer from this,” said a young policeman who is currently on vacation.
By March 29, the UOC of the Moscow Patriarchate had to vacate all the buildings of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra and hand over the property to the state. Instead, priests and believers of the UOC (MP) come to the service and have no intention of leaving.
Today, church pages in social networks have uploaded photos showing moments of service in the temples of the Nizhny Lavra. In particular, in the Church of the Exaltation of the Cross.
The day before, the vicar of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra, Metropolitan Pavlo, said that he and the clergy of the UOC MP have the right to stay and do not plan to leave the Lavra until the end of the legal proceedings with the “Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra” reserve.
He also threatened the President of Ukraine and members of his family.
Yulia Sergeeva, photo by Yaroslav KHRAMOV