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Ukraine orders Russian-aligned Orthodox church to leave Kyiv monastery within two days

Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra / Photo credit: EPA/UPG

Ukrainian officials have ordered a historically Russian-aligned wing of the Orthodox Church – Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate to leave Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra Monastery within two days.

The Moscow Patriarchate Church was based at the monastery under the terms of a 10-year-old agreement on the free use of religious buildings and other state-owned property at Kyiv Lavra signed with the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in 2013.

On 10 March 2023, Ukraine said it terminated the agreement after some clergy from Moscow-linked Church were accused of collaborating with Russian invaders.

Later, a special government commission which was established by Ukraine’s Culture Ministry to speed up the transfer of the cathedral to the state, found numerous violations of the rent terms by the holy tenants.

On 5 June, the commission said it finished its work on the Lavra territory and documented findings in a new act of transfer which required the Moscow Patriarchate monks to leave the monastery within 3 days, according to Minister of Culture Oleksandr Tkachenko.

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