Kiev, September 15, 2022
More than 200 monks live in the Holy Dormition-Kiev Caves Lavra—just one of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church’s monasteries in Kiev.
On the other hand, the schismatic “Orthodox Church of Ukraine” has only 50 monks in all of Kiev, notes Elena Bogdan, head of the State Service of Ukraine for Ethnopolitics and Freedom of Conscience.
Speaking at the conference, “Religious Peace or the ‘War of Civilizations,’” Bogdan emphasized that the canonical UOC is the largest religious network in all of Ukraine, reports the Union of Orthodox Journalists, with reference to the video from the conference published by the Ukrainian Catholic University.
Her comments come in response to the bill submitted to Ukrainian Parliament last week calling for the Cabinet of Ministers to transfer both the Kiev Caves Lavra and the Pochaev Lavra to the free use of the OCU.
Including students and teachers of the seminary and academy located on the territory of the Kiev Caves, there are about 600 people in residence, Bogdan noted. The utility bills and cost of restoration and repairs are very high, and “they are paid not by the state, but by the religious association of the UOC,” she said.
Moreover, the UOC’s churches are filled with people, while the OCU’s are far from crowded, the State Service head added.