Kiev, March 15, 2023
A petition was registered on the website of the Ukrainian Cabinet of Ministers today, calling for the state not to evict the monks of the Kiev Caves Lavra.
According to Ukrainian legislation, anyone can publish a petition on the government site, and if it manages to gather 25,000 signatures within the allotted timeframe, then the Cabinet is obliged to give an official response.
Another petition calling for the state not to ban the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church, published in mid-January, has now gathered more than 25,000 signatures.
The new petition notes that the current inhabitants of the Lavra moved there in 1988 and completely restored it from the ruins they were given by the disintegrating Soviet Union.
“Many of them put their lives and health into it. The brutal eviction of the Lavra monks is an act of great injustice,” the petition reads.
The state informed the brotherhood on March 10 that they must leave the territory of the Lavra, which is officially a state-owned museum, by March 29. However, the abbot and monks have said that they won’t obey such an illegal demand.
Likewise, the termination of the activities of the Kiev Theological Seminary and Academy, located on the territory of the Lavra, is “beyond the bounds of morality and justice,” the petition reads.
Thus, it calls on the Cabinet of Ministers to stand up for the rights of these citizens of Ukraine, and to care for the maintenance of the buildings of the Lavra without evicting the brotherhood.
Meanwhile, the petition calling for the state not entirely ban the Ukrainian Orthodox Church reached the necessary 25,000 signatures yesterday.
Meanwhile, the Ukrainian state took an obvious step towards banning the Church when the State Service for Ethnic Policy and Freedom of Conscience arbitrarily declared in late January that the UOC remains a part of the Moscow Patriarchate, ignoring the Church’s own governing documents.