ROCOR primate sends message of love and support to abbot of Kiev Caves Lavra

New York, January 4, 2023

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His Eminence Metropolitan Nicholas, the First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia sent a message of love, support, and prayers to the abbot of the suffering Kiev Caves Lavra yesterday.

The message to His Eminence Metropolitan Pavel of Vyshgorod and Chernobyl comes just after the last service for the time being in the churches of the state-owned Upper Lavra, as state authorities are refusing to extend the lease agreement with the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

A state inspection and inventory of the Lavra is also underway, and Met. Pavel has been personally sanctioned by the government.

Met. Nicholas’ letter reads:

Your Eminence Vladyka!

On behalf of the hierarchy and the faithful of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, I hasten to assure you of our common love, support and prayers for the speedy overcoming of the present difficult ordeals which have befallen you, your monastic brethren, supporters, and worshipers of the Kiev Caves Lavra. With profound empathy, with faith in Divine Providence which leads us all to salvation, we join you in your prayers, wishing with all our hearts for Heavenly aid and the bolstering of your strength in these difficult times. I feel your personal pain over these events, especially praying for you before the Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother of God and during the Divine Liturgies which I celebrate.

May the light of the star of Bethlehem which once showed the Magi from the East the path to Christ the Divine Infant illuminate and warm you all and lead you to the joy of the reestablishment of justice for the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, headed by His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry, who is universally beloved and honored, and the reestablishment of Divine services in the great Dormition and Trapeza Cathedrals of the Kiev Caves Lavra beloved by us all.

I embrace you all in my heart, remaining in the perpetual love of the Lord, and beseeching your holy prayers,


Metropolitan of Eastern America and New York,

First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia

The ROCOR Synod has also spoken out in defense of the persecuted Church, as has His Eminence Metropolitan Mark of Berlin.

The brotherhood of the Kiev Caves made its own appeal to the government to stop the persecution against the Church and the monastery. Muslims and Catholics treat Orthodox Christians better than their own government, Met. Pavel recently said.

The Holy Synod of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church has also called upon President Zelensky and the government to stop the persecution of the Church, but thus far to no avail.

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