Kiev, April 20, 2018
The initiative of Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, supported by the nation’s parliament, to create one, Local Ukrainian Church as soon as possible and by any means possible was picked up on by Ukrainian nationalists, who believe it was the president’s signal to them that it is time to act and to begin more forcefully seizing parishes of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church, a self-governing Church of the Moscow Patriarchate, according to the Church’s website.
Various groups of radicals have already been seizing parishes throughout Ukraine and turning Ukrainians against one another for years.
“With his appeal to the Ecumenical Patriarch, President Poroshenko unambiguously gave a signal to Ukrainian patriots that it’s enough waiting, that we can no longer close our eyes to this chaos, and that we must seize churches of the Moscow Patriarchate, declared colleagues of Dimitry Korchinsky, the head of the “Brotherhood” political party, yesterday.
They explained that their leaders call to “set fire to the bears of Moscow priests” symbolically meant to forcefully capture the patriarchate’s canonical parishes, “first of all the [Kiev Caves] Lavra.” The radicals offered detailed instructions for how to overtake parishes on their YouTube channel.
The anarchists further likened themselves to Christ casting the “Pharisees and hucksters” out of the Temple. They specifically identified the “liberation” of the Kiev Caves Lavra from the Russian Orthodox Church as their immediate goal.
A bomb threat was made against the Kiev Caves Lavra in early March, and in mid-March, “Brotherhood” representatives held an illicit “moleben” in the Lavra, reading a prayer against the “Moscow occupiers.” They also declared at that time their intention to seize the ancient monastery.
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