The vicar of the Holy Assumption Monastery of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church Moscow Patriarchate (UOC MP), which currently occupies part of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra, Metropolitan Pavlo stated that he intends to "defend his rights to the last" and not vacate the territory of the Lavra.
He stated this on Sunday, March 12, during a sermon in one of the churches of the Lower Lavra, the video of which was published on YouTube.
Pavlo declared that "the Apocalypse is beginning" and criticized the Ukrainian authorities and the Orthodox Church of Ukraine.
"Probably, the Apocalypse begins in Ukraine, because there are great shrines here. Kyiv is called the second Jerusalem. All of our Holy Rus, Ukraine and other cities are covered with the relics of the saints of God," noted the Metropolitan.
He urged his supporters to "defend their rights and their sanctuaries."
“Brothers and sisters, you must not stand aside. We elected these MPs, and today we must give an answer: as we elected, so we can remove them, as it is established in the civilized world. Therefore, we will have to raise our voices. We must defend our faith, we must not disgrace the Church, let even me be shot. I am not afraid of death," concluded Pavlo.
- Before the New Year, the "Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra" reserve informed the UOC MP that, as of January 1, it was not renewing the contract for its use with the Assumption Cathedral and the Tabernacle Church.
- On December 1, President Volodymyr Zelensky stated that the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine instructed the government to submit to the Verkhovna Rada (Ukrainian Parliament) a draft law banning the activities of religious organizations affiliated with Russia in Ukraine.
- On December 2, the National Security and Defense Council introduced personal sanctions against ex-MP Vadym Novinskyi, vicar of the Holy Dormition Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra Petro Lebed and a number of other priests of the UOC MP.
- On March 10, the National Reserve "Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra" sent a letter to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate about the termination of the lease agreement. Priests are asked to leave the Holy Dormition Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra.
- The Ministry of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine announced that the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Ukraine must vacate all the premises it rents in the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra by March 29. The UOC MP stated that these demands have no legal basis.