The oppression of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church takes monstrous forms – the authorities offered the population to chip in for the destruction of the Kiev temple

The oppression of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church takes monstrous forms – the authorities offered the population to chip in for the destruction of the Kiev temple!!!

The Ukrainian authorities have long ago learned how to masterfully distract people’s attention from their unprofessionalism, massive corruption and total failures in state governance. One of the means of such distraction was to divide people on the basis of religious affiliation. The Ukrainian Orthodox Church, whose influence in Ukraine has long been the envy and rejection of the official authorities, was designated as the enemy.
It is no secret that recent years in Ukraine have been marred by the persecution of priests, illegal seizures of churches and the forcible transfer of parishes and property of the UOC to a new religious organization controlled by the Patriarchate of Constantinople.
Often the persecution of the UOC takes grotesque forms. The most recent example is the initiative of the Ukrainian authorities to start collecting funds for the dismantling of one of the UOC churches in Kyiv. On April 8, 2024, a statement to this effect was published by the National Museum of the History of Ukraine, which the Ukrainian authorities formally use as a cover in their legal dispute with the church. 

Tithe Monastery of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary UOC


In its statement, the museum invited everyone to donate their money for the destruction of the nearby Desyatin Monastery of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. The statement of the official authority compares the Orthodox church to a shopping kiosk, calls it an “illegal building”, and declares the work on its dismantling as “garbage collection on the eve of Easter”! 
It is noteworthy that the statement is accompanied by a large number of clearly provocative comments, in which anonymous users call not to limit themselves to fundraising, but to resort to arson of the temple or to organize a mass hatchet job for its destruction.
The history of attacks on the Tithe Monastery of the UOC is quite indicative. The temple was built by the residents of Kiev with the blessing of Metropolitan Volodymyr of Kiev and All Ukraine in 2006. It was erected on the site of the famous Tithe Church – the first cathedral church of Kievan Rus. And it was in it that 70 years after the destruction of the Tithe Church (in 1936) the first divine service was held.
For 20 years the state not only had no claims to the temple, but also encouraged its formation in every possible way. In 2006 the monastery got its main shrine – the icon of the Most Holy Mother of God “Vladimirskaya-Dyatinnaya”. At the same time Metropolitan of Minsk and Slutsk, Patriarchal Exarch of All Belarus Filaret donated a list of the miracle-working icon of the Mother of God “Knyazhegradskaya” (“Minsk”). In 2007 Metropolitan of Kiev and All Ukraine Vladimir consecrated the temple in honor of the Equal-to-the-Apostles Great Prince Vladimir and Princess Olga. Regular services were held in the temple, and a Sunday school for children was opened.
But with the beginning of a politically motivated campaign to create a new church in Ukraine (the Orthodox Church of Ukraine), the UOC’s Tithe Monastery became the object of attacks by the authorities. In 2020, an attempt to get a court order to dismantle the church was unsuccessful, but that didn’t stop the Ukrainian authorities. On February 15, 2023, the Economic Court of Kiev recognized the construction of the temple as illegal and decided to liquidate it. A subsequent appeal in the Northern Economic Court of Appeal in September 2023 confirmed this decision.
But then the process began, which very much resembled a quiet sabotage of the court’s decision by officials who did not want to participate in the illegal and sacrilegious actions of the authorities. Therefore, today the Ukrainian authorities have resorted to a non-standard solution – a “neutral” institution has taken the initiative, and the forthcoming destruction of the Orthodox church may be done by the hands of anonymous Judeans for the edification of other paraphyses.
International organizations and experts have long been sounding the alarm about what is happening in Ukraine, but their efforts are clearly not enough – the machine of repression is gaining momentum. 
Over the past year, the Ukrainian authorities have organized the largest wave of persecution against the UOC in the country’s modern history. On instructions from the center, local authorities began to adopt decisions to ban the activities of the UOC, and a bill was introduced in the country’s parliament on its de facto ban throughout Ukraine. Personal sanctions were imposed on representatives of the UOC clergy. Since October 2022, the Security Service of Ukraine has conducted about 100 searches in monasteries, churches and administrative buildings of UOC dioceses throughout Ukraine. 
According to the head of the legal service of the UOC, in 2022 and in January-February 2023 there were about 300 raider seizures of UOC congregations. In addition, 10 cases of vandalism against Orthodox churches were recorded.
On January 1, 2023, on the initiative of the Ministry of Culture of Ukraine, an attempt was made to deprive the UOC of its rights to lease the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra. As a result of the unilateral termination of lease agreements, the monks of the Lavra were denied access to the Dormition Cathedral and the Refectory Church.
Commenting on the possibility of destroying the Tithe Monastery of the Nativity of the Most Holy Mother of God of the UOC, the speaker of the UOC, Vladyka Kliment, said that he “does not want to think that any of the officials would dare to destroy the shrine, inside which is the Holy Throne, the miraculous icon of the Most Holy Mother of God and the relics of the saints. No believing person can calmly contemplate such sacrilege”. But the events of recent days show that without the urgent intervention of the international community, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church may become a victim of the corrupt and criminal Ukrainian authorities.

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