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Authorities to seal parts of Kyiv Pechersk Lavra

by Martin Fornusek July 4, 2023 12:54 PM 1 min read
Serhiy Petrovytch Doumenko, Metropolitan Epifaniy of Kyiv, Head of Ukraine church, leads an Orthodox Christmas service at Kyiv Pechersk Lavra monastery in Kyiv on Jan. 7, 2023. (Photo by Sergei Supinsky/AFP via Getty Images)
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Ukrainian authorities will inspect and seal five buildings of lower part of the historic Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra monastery in the capital, the Culture Ministry informed on July 4.

The ministry noted that this should not prevent religious activities in the monastery, as access is limited only to areas not serving religious purposes.

According to a Ukrinform correspondent on the scene, the local clergy has blocked the members of the commission from entering the building.

On March 10, the Culture Ministry issued a statement that monks from the Russian-controlled Ukrainian Orthodox Church – Moscow Patriarchate (UOC-MP) must vacate the premises of Lavra, Ukraine's most important Orthodox monastery.

The clergymen have however refused to leave until the end of the ongoing legal proceedings concerning the monastery and blocked access to the authorities.

The Culture Ministry issued a statement on July 1 that monks must vacate five buildings of Lower Lavra by July 4 and hand over the keys to the National Reserve authorities.

UOC-MP is one of the two main Orthodox churches in Ukraine and its members are suspected of close ties and sympathies to the Kremlin even amid the ongoing full-scale Russian invasion.

Court denies Russian-controlled church access to Kyiv Pechersk Lavra
The court rejected the request by the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate (UOC-MP) to hold services in the Kyiv Pechersk Lavra monastery, Culture Minister Oleksandr Tkachenko said on June 13.
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