UOC hierarch: I ask all Ukraine to stand up for Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra
Metropolitan Longin urged the Ukrainian people to prayerfully support the monks of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra.
The Ukrainian authorities will not succeed in seizing the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra, as Ukraine will stand up to defend it, said Metropolitan Longin, the abbot of the monastery, during a sermon published by the press service of the Bancheni Monastery.
The hierarch noted that the parishioners of the UOC will not surrender to the "children of communists" who want to destroy the Ukrainian people by taking away their Orthodox shrines.
"Our state has started a war against God, the Church of God and against the Ukrainian people. Today they want to evict our brothers, monks from the Lavra, Pochaiv, from Kyiv. They know where the heart of Orthodoxy is, they know where our soul is. But they will not succeed. I would suggest everybody go to the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra and defend it. <...> You think that we must run away somewhere? No, you will run away from the face of God. And we will protect our sanctuary, our lavras, our churches and the word of Ukrainian Orthodox people," he said.
Metropolitan Longin also said that the Bancheni Monastery will accept all monks of the Lavra who have to leave their monastery: "People called me, asking whether we will accept monks from the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra in our monastery. Always. We are all united in Christ. We will not offend anyone.”
At the same time, the hierarch urged the whole world to help the Orthodox Ukrainian people to protect their constitutional rights. The hierarch stressed that the Ukrainian authorities are driving God out of Ukraine by trying to kick the monks out of the Kyiv Caves Monastery.
"I am not calling for war. I’m calling for prayerful protection of our shrine because without it we have no life. The Church is our life, it is our oxygen, it is our heart, and we will not give up the Lavra. We are not going anywhere. Do you want to go to war with us? Please, you have a machine gun, you have weapons. We have the Cross of the Lord, we have prayer, we have fast and we have our pious, God-loving Ukrainian Orthodox people. <...> it is time to suffer for the Lord God, as he suffered for us," he added.
As reported, the UOC is being expelled from the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra.