Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard
Despite the threats of right-wing radicals – nazis and schismatics supported by the official authorities — on July 27th in Kiev a prayer and religious procession of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchy) devoted to the Day of the Epiphany of Kievan Rus took place. The celebrations gathered tens of thousands of people. Such a mass character is extremely undesirable for the ruling regime – after all, as we know, the UOC MP condemns the military operations in Donbass and calls for an immediate termination of the internal war.
Since the early morning of July 27th people began to flock to Vladimir hill, where at the monument to Prince Vladimir on 13:00 a prayer was appointed with the participation of his Beatitude Metropolitan Onufry.
Practically all the center of Kiev – from Pochtovaya Square to Maidan – was closed for cars. The believers en route to the prayer underwent the police check procedure, through the “frames” of the metal detectors. By noon the believers became more and more, people came in a never-ending stream – they bore icons, sang prayers. There were many women, elderly, and children.
Representatives from all over Ukraine and different foreign dioceses arrived there – for example, Belarusian, reports the correspondent of “Politnavigator”.
By the beginning of the prayer service the well-known mountain over the Dnieper was filled with religious people. Many of those who couldn’t find place on the asphalted parkways settled down simply on the slopes covered with grass, among the trees.
The head of the UOC arrived in time, and the prayer service began at precisely the determined time. The Ukrainian clergy, priests, deacons, monks and nuns, novitiates from monasteries all took part in it.
And in general the believers who gathered under the cloudy Kiev sky and didn’t pay attention to the beginning of rainfall at this hour were more than 100,000 people. This is confirmed by filming conduced from several controlled drones hovering over Vladimir hill during the entire time of the service.
At the foot of the monument to the Blessed prince where the prayer took place, the miraculous icons delivered to Kiev from different churches were established.
When the solemn church service ended, believers led by the clergy moved with icons in a religious procession to Svyato-Uspensky Kiev-Pechersk Lavra, where shrines are also established for honoring.
On the day of the holiday of the Baptism of Rus’, on July 28th, here, in the Monastery, the Divine Liturgy took place, and the celebrations will be continued.
It is necessary to note that the Ukrainian authorities ignored the many-thousand prayer service of the canonical Orthodox Church. Only a few deputies of the Verkhovna Rada took part in it – Mikhail Dobkin, Yury Boyko, and Aleksandr Vilkul. The pro-authorities media immediately accused them of “playing the Kremlin’s game”, because for a long time the central core of Ukrainian propaganda depicts the UOC as a pillar of Russia politics in Ukraine,.
In parallel Bankova Street, by means of its information servants, in every possible way tries to create the impression that the UOC MP is a small community – that its parishioners nearly in crowds run into the “Kiev patriarchy” because it is the “national church”, and propagandizes other nonsense in the same vein.
The religious procession was crowded, because of which for half the day the central streets were blocked because so many people flocked to it — and the statistical data testifies to completely the contrary of what the Ukrainian media says.
The number of participants that came to the “procession of Filaret“, which took place in Kiev on July 28th, comparison with our procession it was a pathetic show. Last year it gathered some hundreds of “brainwashed” participants who moved along Vladimirskaya Street, singing not prayers, but Ukrainian “patriotic” songs and proclaiming “Glory to Ukraine”. A very impressive “church service”, of course. This year they also carried the icon, which was “newly consecrated” by defrocked Denisenko, inciting with his help the continuation of war in Donbass.
As for statistics, the opinion polls testify: the majority of citizens of Ukraine rank themselves as believers of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchy. Today the UOC has 12,500 communities, 250 monasteries, it was and remains the largest faith in Ukraine. Despite dissenters, by means of violence and manipulation, seizing 40 churches, and there is also such that became objects of the judicial war launched by the same dissenters. But in all dioceses God’s new houses are being opened and consecrated.
Of course, for the “party of war” that is in power it is unpleasant that the UOC is the most numerous religious community in Ukraine. Because the UOC stands for peace and the termination of the conflict, and the “party of war” doesn’t want this at all. Because then the attention of society will be focused on economic and other problems, and thus the “party of war” will collapse.
That’s why the slanderous accusations of aggressiveness and being not numerous are being whipped around our Church. Accusations that completely shatter against such indisputable facts as, for example, a hundred-thousand orthodox procession in the name of peace.
Such prayer services and religious processions in Kiev have been carried out traditionally already for many years. In 2013 a prayer service with the participation of the Patriarch of Moscow and all of Russia Kirill took place. At the time tens of thousands of people came to it. Ukrainian radicals on the approaches to Vladimir hill shouted insults at the Church and its Patriarch: “Get out Moscow priest!” — etc.
In general it is precisely nationalist radicals who always created political fuss around the sacred services of the UOC. In the same 2013 the known political figure Vasily Chervony, who repeatedly declared that he will destroy “the church of moskals”, publicly declared that the Patriarch will arrive in Kiev only over his dead body. The sad result at the time was printed on the pages of many media outlets: shortly before Kirill’s visit, Chervony was killed by a lightning strike while fishing.
But even this obvious punishment of God didn’t stop frenzied politicians and fighters. In 2016, after the Beatitude Metropolitan Onufry blessed the religious procession “For the sake of peace and love in Ukraine”, pro-government media burst in streams of the most vile dirt and slander.
During the All-Ukrainian procession with the greatest shrines – icons of the Blessed Virgin Mary – from the West (from Pochayevsky Lavra) and the East (from Svyatogorska Larva) for unification in Kiev, during a prayer service inconceivable provocations were staged by nazi dissenters and the journalists of Ukrainian media along the route of believers.
For example, the provocateur of anti-church media-camarilla – Kolomoisky’s channel “1+1” – reported about “fighters in cassocks” and that allegedly in the churches of the UOC MP pistols and machine guns are being distributed. And also supposedly that participants of the Religious Procession travel to Kiev, hiding their weapons in rucksacks, student’s satchels, and travel bags. Tens of thousands of believers – including the elderly, women, and children – according to them, were ready at any moment to draw their guns like Hollywood cowboys and to stage “Kremlin terror”.
During the religious procession itself, the attacks on believers and prayer books were continually staged. It even reach the level that mindless blasphemers threw apples and stones at the sacred image of the Blessed Virgin Mary. In Brovary in the Kiev Region the city authorities in general refused to direct the peace procession through the city. Radicals insulted the believers all along their route, they used profanity and raged.
That religious procession was remembered by its participants, on the one hand, by the enormous tension of all sincere and physical forces, and on the other – from the huge joy because the Lord didn’t allow mass bloodshed and for it to be interrupted, and defended his faithful.
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