Kiev, March 31, 2023
For the second day in the row, the Orthodox faithful of Ukraine have flocked to the Kiev Caves Lavra to protect their holy site from the state’s attempts to evict the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
And just like yesterday, the faithful successfully prevented the commission sent by the state to “inspect” the Lavra and begin transferring the property back to the usage of the state from doing its work.
The Orthodox faithful have even been spending the night in the Lavra to prevent against any nighttime attacks, and to attend the early morning services before going out to guard the monastery again.
According to the Ukrainian outlet Strana, there were already hundreds of pilgrims at the Holy Cross Church for the 6:30 AM service.
According to the Union of Orthodox Journalists, there is an increased police presence around the Lavra, while media representatives and provocateurs are also flocking to the monastery.
At about 9:50, the commission arrived at the Church of St. Agapit of the Caves, which was surrounded by praying Orthodox Christians. The commission moved on and the faithful continued to pray.
According to a post from the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, the commission was planning to seal up the churches today, but so far they have been prevented by the faithful.
His Eminence Metropolitan Kliment of Nezhin, head of the UOC’s Information-Education Department, is speaking with journalists. He explained that due to threats from radicals, the Lavra’s lawyers wrote a statement to the police.
However, more radicals and provocateurs are still coming to the monastery, which was expected. The Church announced this morning:
Important information. Today, on the 31st of March, at 10 a.m., a commission plans to come to the Kyiv Caves Lavra in order to seal up churches. Provokers want to come with the commission. Specially trained persons from among radicals will be insulting and provoking believers with a view to causing aggression or inappropriate behaviour towards them. Provokers will be filming everything.
ATTENTION! It is prohibited to speak with provokers or pay attention to them in any way. Malefactors’ main goal is to draw attention to themselves and to cause at least some reaction to their actions. If you see provokers approaching anyone from among believers, you should immediately approach the believer and explain him or her that he or she must not communicate with the provokers or react to their provocations.
We call upon everybody to pray to Saints of the Kyiv Caves for our Ukrainian State and our Holy Kyiv Caves Monastery!
Meanwhile, the leader of the radicals has told his followers that their purpose is to incite the monks to violence so they can paint them as terrorists in the media.