Chernigov, Chernigov Province, Ukraine, March 2, 2023
By order of the state Ministry of Culture and Information Policy, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church must vacate two ancient monasteries and a cathedral in Chernigov in north-central Ukraine.
Like many other holy sites in Ukraine, the complex of buildings of the Holy Trinity (17th-18th C.) and Holy Dormition-Elets (12th-17th C.) Monasteries and the Holy Transfiguration Cathedral (21st C.) are state-owned, as part of the Ancient Chernigov National Architectural and Historical Reserve.
The Elets Monastery is one of the oldest from Kievan Rus’. St. Anthony of the Kiev Caves even lived there for a time in 1069.
In a letter dated February 28, the Reserve director informed His Eminence Metropolitan Ambrose of Chernigov that the lease is up on all the buildings, and the Church must return them to the state. The letter was published by dumskaya.net.
The Church has already been removed from the Upper Lavra at the state-owned Holy Dormition-Kiev Caves Lavra on the same basis.
Interestingly, the leases ended in September 2021, but the state is only now requiring the Church to vacate—by March 27, returning the properties “in good condition, no worse than on the date of the drawing up of the act of acceptance and transfer.”