Kiev, February 5, 2018
Protestors want to destroy the monastery because in their imagination it is a “Russian agent.”
Kiev’s Tithes Monastery of the Mother of God, which has been facing serious threats from radical Ukrainian nationalists lately, held a moleben on Saturday in which thousands of faithful gathered to prayerfully call on the Lord for His intercession and protection. The brothers of the monastery have posted an article on their website to thank the clergy and faithful who came out to offer spiritual and physical support to the holy monastery.
More than 3,000 faithful Orthodox Christians came out and stood for ten hours through the night, prayerfully protecting the monastery from those who hate the Church of God.
“We would like to note the well-coordinated work of the law enforcement bodies which promptly suppressed the provocations of a few radical groups. Thank God that today’s event went off without any particular incidents,” the monastery’s note reads.
It was known ahead of time that protesters were set to gather around the monastery on Saturday, calling for the demolition of the Vladimiro-Olginsky Church, under the pretense that it illegally stands on the territory of the Kiev History Museum. Protestors had also gathered the day before at the offices of the Ministry of Culture, calling for the demolition of the monastery church. One activist, Olga Kozlovskaya, stated the group’s true motivations, calling for the activities of the monastery church to be checked, “because it is a Russian agent.”
One young radical wrote to the monastery brotherhood on his social network page, “We will destroy you. You are biodegradable waste.”
The abbot of the Tithes Monastery, Archimandrite Gideon (Kharon) has also appealed to Ukrainian authorities, international organizations, and even the U.S. government to defend the monastery from the frequent attacks and threats against it:
“We have appealed to the Ukrainian Security Service, the Mayor of Kiev, and the President of Ukraine… We have appealed to the United Nations. We have appealed to the ambassadors of many countries. We have also appealed to the President of the United States of America Donald Trump with a request to protect the Tithes Monastery,” Fr. Gideon stated.
The monastery brotherhood includes three American citizens, including Fr. Gideon himself.
The Tithes Monastery of the Mother of God was attacked twice on January 25, the Vladimiro-Olginsky Church being mildly burned early in the morning and vandalized later in the afternoon. The two arsonists were caught and sentenced two days later. The judge who sentenced them has herself faced threats since the trial. 10 Deputies of the Ukrainian Parliament have stated that they are ready to bail the criminals out.