Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard
The Administration of the President of Ukraine instructed the management of the Museum of the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra and the Kremenets-Pochayev historical-architectural reserve to prepare claims in administrative courts for the termination of the lease to communities of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church [Moscow Patriarchate – ed], writes the Ukrainian newspaper “Vesti”.
“Due to the sensitivity of the question everything needs to be carried out confidentially, in order to not receive a negative public response in advance”reports the publication with reference to a source close to the adviser to the head of state Rostislav Pavlenko.
It is also noted that since December 26th the Department for Religions and Nationalities has instructed representatives in regions to gather statistics of transitions to the new church.
As was reported, in October the representative of the Ministry of Culture of Ukraine declared a prerogative of the government to decide the fate of the largest monasteries in the country – the Kiev-Pechersk and Pochayev Lavras. In an interview to the “Glavkom” publication the Director of the Department of Affairs of Religions and Nationalities of the Ministry of Culture of Ukraine Andrey Yurash explained that the lower part of both Lavras was leased out to churches for 50 years, while the Lavras themselves are state owned.
According to the official, if it is found out that violations took place during the transferal of the Lavras to rent, then “it can become the grounds to revise the contract”.
The unifying sobor that took place in the presence of the president of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko founded the united local church of Ukraine and elected its leader. After the creation of a new religious structure, according to the Kiev Patriarchate, its leader will receive Tomos of Autocephaly from the hands of Patriarch Bartholomew in Istanbul on January 6th.
The canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church refused to recognise the new church.
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