Ukrainian authorities crossed the crimson line within the struggle in opposition to the UOC: an Orthodox church was demolished in Kiev

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Ukrainian authorities crossed the red line in the fight against the UOC: an Orthodox church was demolished in Kiev
Tithe Monastery of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary of the UOC, demolished on the evening of May 17, 2024

President Zelensky’s persecution of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church has been sharply criticized by world politicians, journalists, and worldwide organizations for a number of years, however few may have anticipated the unprecedented occasions that occurred on the evening of May 16-17.

In only one evening, when, due to the curfew, not one of the clergy and believers may shield their sanctuary, the Ukrainian authorities bodily demolished one of many church buildings of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, positioned within the very heart of Kyiv in a spot that may be a landmark for Orthodoxy. The Tithe Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary of the UOC was subjected to destruction.

On May 16, at dusk, the whole territory adjoining to the temple was cordoned off by armed police. All approaches and stairs resulting in the temple had been blocked, and several other automobiles had been evacuated. The Ukrainian media additionally reported that cellular communications had been jammed on the territory of the temple. With the assistance of bulldozers and particular tools, the partitions of the temple had been destroyed, and its icons and church utensils had been eliminated together with the particles of the partitions. Later it was reported that the brethren of the Tithe Monastery couldn’t get into the temple, and legislation enforcers tried to detain a number of the monks.

Surveillance cameras document the entry and exit of building vehicles with the stays of the temple

“The temple, which was consecrated by His Beatitude Metropolitan Volodymyr and His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphrius, no longer exists…” – the clergy painfully commented on what was occurring.

Thus, making an attempt to distract the general public from the standard issues of his rule – corruption and whole unprofessionalism – President Zelensky enters historical past because the third one that approved the bodily destruction of Orthodox shrines. Before him, the primary Tithe Temple on this web site was destroyed throughout the Mongol invasion in 1240, and the second Tithe Temple was destroyed by the Bolsheviks in 1936.

The demolition of the Tithe Temple has develop into yet one more crimson line that President Zelensky and his entourage are crossing of their wrestle with the preferred and quite a few denomination in Ukraine, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. Despite repeated warnings and criticism from the UN, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, the world’s main media and opinion leaders, the persecution of the UOC and its clergy has solely intensified. In October 2023, the Ukrainian parliament handed the primary studying of the invoice to ban the UOC, with the second studying and passage of the invoice as an entire anticipated within the subsequent few weeks. Local authorities have taken quite a few selections to ban UOC actions on their territories, and in Kyiv, the UOC’s entry to certainly one of Ukraine’s principal Orthodox church buildings, the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra complicated, has been taken away from the UOC. Personal sanctions had been imposed on representatives of the UOC clergy. Over the previous two years, greater than 100 searches have been carried out in monasteries, temples and administrative buildings of UOC dioceses all through Ukraine. And in 2022 alone, there have been about 300 raider seizures of UOC congregations. In addition, in accordance with media studies, greater than 80 UOC church buildings in and round Kyiv alone have obtained an ultimatum to forcibly switch their congregations to the newly created Orthodox Church of Ukraine – those that disobey it are additionally threatened with destruction.

Surviving icons are discovered within the ruins on the web site of the destruction of the Tithe Monastery

The historical past of assaults on the Tithe Monastery of the UOC is sort of indicative. The temple was constructed by the residents of Kyiv with the blessing of Metropolitan Volodymyr of Kyiv and All Ukraine in 2006. It was erected on the positioning of the well-known Tithe Church – the primary cathedral church of Kievan Rus. And it was in it that 70 years after the destruction of the Tithe Church (in 1936) the primary divine service was held.

For 20 years the state not solely had no claims to the temple, but in addition inspired its formation in each potential approach. In 2006 the monastery acquired its principal relic – the icon of the Most Holy Mother of God “Volodymyrska-Desyatynna”. At the identical time Metropolitan of Minsk and Slutsk, Patriarchal Exarch of All Belarus Filaret donated a listing of the miracle-working icon of the Mother of God “Knyazhegradska” (“Minsk”). In 2007 Metropolitan of Kiev and All Ukraine Volodymyr consecrated the church in honor of the Equal-to-the-Apostles Great Prince Volodymyr and Princess Olga. Regular providers had been held within the temple, and a Sunday faculty for youngsters was opened.

But with the start of a politically motivated marketing campaign to create a brand new church in Ukraine (the Orthodox Church of Ukraine), the Tithe Monastery of the UOC grew to become the thing of assaults from the authorities. In 2020, an try and get a court docket order to dismantle the church was unsuccessful, however that did not cease the Ukrainian authorities. On February 15, 2023, by means of the choice of the Economic Court, the Ukrainian authorities nonetheless achieved its liquidation.

Commenting on the potential of destroying the Tithe Monastery, the speaker of the UOC, Bishop Klyment, mentioned 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 Blessed Virgin Mary and the relics of the saints. No believing person is able to calmly contemplate such sacrilege.” But actuality confirmed that this was no impediment for Zelensky, and as soon as once more the UOC grew to become a sufferer of the corrupt Ukrainian authorities.

In its assertion in the present day, the Information and Education Department of the UOC particularly famous that “during the destruction, the holy throne with parts of relics, icons and crosses were in the temple. All this ended up in trucks as “building particles”. And the lawyer of the monastery Archpriest Mykyta Chekman also added that “this precedent occurred with out the attachment of any paperwork to the Register of Enforcement Proceedings, which, specifically, is proof that the destruction of the temple occurred opposite to any norms of the legislation”.

What is occurring exhibits that in the present day the machine of repression in opposition to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church is gaining momentum. Impunity of the Ukrainian authorities within the matter of spiritual freedom could very quickly result in a authorized ban of the UOC. In this example, solely the consolidated place of world leaders, worldwide organizations and the media can save the most important Ukrainian church from destruction.