Head of Russian Orthodox Church in Ukraine booed near Lavra after Sunday services – video
Onuphrius quickly jumped into a car after he was booed near the Lavra (Photo:Скриншот з відео Київ без цензури / Telegram)
Metropolitan Onufriy of the Russian Orthodox Church in Ukraine (ROC), who has been conducting services at the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra despite a Ukrainian court decision to remove the ROC presence at the holy site, was met with jeers from activists, in a video published by Kyiv-based media outlets on May 6.
In the video, Onufriy was seen leaving the Lavra, but was met with activists shouting “Onufriy for exchange” and “Onufriy to prison.” He quickly passed through the crowd and jumped into a car.
On May 7, Onufriy conducted again Sunday services at the Lavra, in defiance of Ukrainian law.
Journalists from NV’s sister publication, Ukrainian Pravda, had previously found that Metropolitan Onufriy and more than 20 other ROC priests hold Russian citizenship.
Onufriy responded by stating that he had already given up his Russian citizenship, but his Russian passport number was later found in the database of the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs, refuting his claim.
In March, the state ordered the ROC to vacate the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra due to the termination of the ROC’s rental agreement with the state-owned organization responsible for the site’s management. Representatives of the ROC finally allowed a commission from the Ministry of Culture to take over state property at the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra in early April. However, they continue to conduct services there, including under the leadership of Metropolitan Onufriy.
Minister of Culture and Information Policy Oleksandr Tkachenko previously stated that monastic life in the Lavra will continue, and assured that Ukraine has a “plan of action.” He said that the state will consider various proposals for the future use of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra.
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