Persecuted Christian Monks in Ukraine Left in Winter Without Heating

Residents: They stopped heating the Kiev Pechersk Lavra, and it’s cold in the monks' cells

Originally appeared at: RIA

The Kiev authorities have not signed a heating agreement with the Kiev Pechersk Lavra, it has become colder in their cells, and the monks are forced to warm themselves with electric heaters, monastery residents told Russian news agency RIA Novosti.

“We haven’t signed a new heating agreement with the Lavra. Because of this, it’s very cold in the cells, the monks are forced to bring electric heaters, and everyone is very cold,” the agency’s interlocutors said.

People on the territory of the Kiev Pechersk Lavra. Archive photo

At night the temperature in Kiev drops and becomes very chilly. It rains, but there is no heat, they added.

Since the beginning of 2023, Ukrainian authorities have been trying to expel the monks of the UOC from the Kiev Pechersk Lavra, the oldest monastery in the territory of historical Rus'. In March, the Ministry of Culture of Ukraine notified the monastery of the termination of the lease agreement; the monks were required to leave the monastery, but they refused. Former Minister of Culture of Ukraine Alexander Tkachenko said that the monks of the UOC can remain in the monastery if they transfer to the schismatic Orthodox Church of Ukraine. The abbot of the Kiev Pechersk Lavra, Metropolitan Pavel (Lebed), responded that there could be no compromises on the Lavra, and the brethren would stand until the end. He was subsequently sent by the authorities into house arrest, and he was released after posting bail.
The Ukrainian authorities are gradually sealing the buildings of the Lavra, some of which are already being used by schismatics from the OCU. On August 18, the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine banned teachers and students of the Kiev Theological Academy from accessing educational buildings on the territory of the monastery. The Russian Orthodox Church protested against this and called on international organizations to protect the oldest Orthodox educational institution.
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