UOC Primate discusses the Lavra issue with Advisor to US Institute of Peace
Speaking with an advisor for religion of the US Institute of Peace, His Beatitude noted that he roots for the equality of all citizens of Ukraine before the Constitution.
On March 21, 2023, His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kyiv and All Ukraine met with Peter Mandaville, Senior Advisor for Religion and Inclusive Societies of the United States Institute of Peace. This was reported by the Information and Educational Department of the UOC.
Peter Mandaville is a well-known researcher in the field of religion and politics, with many years of experience in academic institutions, think tanks and the US government, where he focuses on religion and security issues.
During the meeting, Peter Mandaville told the Primate of the UOC about the principles of the Institute for Peace and a keen interest in maintaining mutual understanding and developing peace in Ukrainian society. In particular, Mr. Peter noted that usually political forces turn their attention to the issues related to religious peace only when religious confrontations are already aggravated. Therefore, the Institute for Peace makes every effort to prevent religious conflicts.
In turn, His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry informed Mandaville about the status of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and about the situation around the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra.
Expressing respect for all religious organizations, the Primate noted that he supports the equality of all citizens of Ukraine before constitutional rights. After all, certain religious bills and regulations relating to religious property or religious activities fundamentally violate the constitutional principles of equality of both citizens and religious organizations.
“We do not ask for individual preferences from lawmakers, we only ask that they adhere to the constitutional principles of a democratic state. Religion teaches a person to live in peace with God and with each other, but often politically motivated hate speech distorts this and leads to misunderstanding and discord,” His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry stressed.
As reported by the UOJ, the UOC does not rule out that on March 29 the monks from the Lavra will be “evicted” by radicals.