Espreso. Global

Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry calls on UN to refrain from "unbalanced political assessments" of UOC (MP)

27 March, 2023 Monday
19:10

Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs calls on the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to refrain from political assessments in its reports on state actions against the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate)

This is stated in the commentary of the Foreign Ministry spokesman Oleg Nikolenko on the concern of the OHCHR about the "discriminatory nature" of searches in monasteries, offices and educational institutions of the UOC (MP).

"Ukraine is a democratic state that guarantees freedom of religion. At the same time, freedom is not the same as the right to engage in activities that undermine national security. We call on the OHCHR to refrain from unbalanced political assessments and base its reports on facts," Nikolenko said.

  • The Assumption Cathedral (Cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary) is the main cathedral church of the Assumption Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra. Previously, priests of the UOC-MP held services there. On December 1, 2022, the Holy Dormition Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra was registered as a monastery within the Orthodox Church of Ukraine (Kyiv Patriarchate). Ukrainian Minister of Culture Oleksandr Tkachenko noted that the entire territory of the Lavra is state property.

  • On December 31, the hierarchs of the UOC (MP) held the last service in the Refectory Church. Before that, they sang about the "awakening" of Russia. The case is being investigated by the SBU, and one of the monastery's priests, who glorified the "Russian world," is suspected.

  • On January 5, Minister of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine Oleksandr Tkachenko announced the transfer of the Assumption Cathedral and the Refectory Church of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra to the state.

  • Metropolitan Epiphanius, head of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, celebrated the Christmas service on January 7 at the Assumption Cathedral of the Kyiv Cave Monastery. 

  • On March 10, it was announced that the Kyiv Cave Monastery was terminating its lease agreement with the UOC (MP) and demanding that the premises be vacated.

  • On March 21, a commission began its work at the Kyiv Pechersk Lavra to determine the state of preservation of museum exhibits; the entrance to the caves with relics and a number of churches were closed for the duration of the commission. Already on the first day of the commission's work, numerous violations were discovered.

  • Minister of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine Tkachenko said that the UOC (MP)’s contract for the use of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra will be terminated on March 29, 2023. This applies to all premises rented by the UOC (MP) in the Lavra.

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