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Zakharova: Kiev Desecrates Orthodoxy While West Keeps Silent

© RIA Novosti . Alexandr Altman / Go to the mediabankKiev Monastery of the Caves
Kiev Monastery of the Caves - Sputnik International, 1920, 01.04.2023
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Saturday that Kiev is mocking and sneering at Orthodoxy, while the West remains silent about it.
Zakharova said on her Telegram channel that April Fools' Day was held "with great fanfare in Kiev," adding that "[Ukrainian President Volodymyr] Zelensky, the court and the crowd — all of them are raging during Great Lent."
"Orthodoxy is being abused, mocked and sneered at before our eyes. The civilized remain silent. That's not the occasion for which they wrote human rights declarations and reports on religious freedom. There will be better occasions, conferences or symposiums. There they will talk about lofty things," Zakharova said.
Earlier in the day, media reported that a court in Kiev put Metropolitan Bishop Pavel, vicegerent of the contested Kiev-Pechersk Lavra, under house arrest for 60 days and barred him from communicating with believers.
Vicegerent of the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra Metropolitan Bishop Pavel - Sputnik International, 1920, 01.04.2023
Ukrainian Court Places Kiev-Pechersk Lavra Vicegerent Under House Arrest For 2 Months
On Saturday morning, metropolitan Pavel was presented with official suspicions of "collaboration with Russia and inter-religious incitement" after Ukrainian authorities conducted searches in his house. He then said that the Ukrainian authorities had sent him under house arrest. The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) confirmed his indictment under two articles of the criminal code, specifically "violation of citizens' equality based on their race, nationality or religious preferences" and "justification, recognition as legitimate, denial of the armed aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine, glorification of its participants."
Tensions between Kiev and the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC) escalated after Russia launched a military operation in Ukraine in February 2022. On March 10, 2023, UOC monks were ordered to leave the monastery of the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra, jurisdiction over which was divided between a Ukrainian cultural organization and the UOC, by March 29 for violating the terms of an agreement on the use of state property. Ukrainian Culture Minister Oleksandr Tkachenko said the monks could stay in the Lavra if they joined the schismatic Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU), a decision that may be "stimulated through the joint work of specialists and law enforcement officers."
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