Monastics of UOC Rivne Eparchy appeal to Ukrainian authorities
The Rivne Eparchy believes that the current situation in Ukraine is similar to that of the Soviet regime.
The monastics of the Rivne Eparchy of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church have appealed to the Ukrainian government about the situation around the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra, reports the eparchy’s website.
In an appeal to the President, all deputies, ministers, international organizations and all those "on whom the calm religious condition in Ukraine depends", the monks stressed that they represent the people of Ukraine because they are citizens of Ukraine, who have entrusted the authorities "to manage the state system of the country".
"So, we, having entrusted you with this value, to manage our lives, our society, we feel pressure today, wrongful actions against us, we feel pain from the loss of sanctuaries," the appeal reads.
The monastics believe that "it is as if we were thrown into the Soviet past". "We see how they want to close monasteries, expel monks, mock our clergy and believers, just as they did under the Soviets. We, the citizens of Ukraine, are being deprived of our rights to freely practice our faith."
The monks called on the authorities "to be wise, to observe the laws of the state, which are prescribed for everyone without exception: both for you, the officials in power, and for us, the common people”.
They also called on the authorities "to observe the laws of God" and noted that "Ukraine has always been a Christian state". "From St. Andrew the First-Called, who put a cross on the Dnieper steeps, to this day. Ukrainians are a God-fearing people brought up on Christian principles, passing on the faith of Princess Olga and Prince Volodymyr from generation to generation."
"So, by raising our voice in defence of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, in defence of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra, we are fighting not for ourselves but for future generations so that they have the right to choose to be Orthodox Christians and to be saved in the holy Church. Faith is our treasure and our life, it is necessary to preserve and pass it on to future generations of Ukrainians," the monastics said in their appeal.
The monks and nuns noted that "each of us has taken an oath to God, and we stick to it, despite how difficult it is in today's turbulent world."
"And you too, Mr President, took an oath to serve your people faithfully. Therefore, we ask you to remember the words of your oath, to honour it, to be consistent to earn the gratitude and recognition of your people."
The monastics of the Rivne Eparchy stressed that they are citizens of Ukraine, and their life's work is "a service to God, Mother Church, their people, and their country”.
"We respect all the laws of Ukraine, so we ask not to violate our rights, which we as citizens are guaranteed by the Constitution," the appeal says.
"We know what repression for the faith is. There are nuns among us who passed through the Mordovian camps for confessing Christ and defending the faith of their grandfathers. In spite of their advanced age, they are prepared to go to the camps again if it helps preserve the Church and revive the light of Christ in the souls of people," the appeal reads.
The monastics raised their voices "in defence of the abbot and brethren of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra, the Pochaiv Lavra, which they are also starting to talk about".
"These are our brethren in the faith, and in our veins flows the same blood of Christ. Therefore, on behalf of the whole Ukrainian Orthodox Church, we say: no to the seizures of our churches! No to the bills that ban the UOC! No to the closure of the monastery! No to the expulsion of monks and students from the walls of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra!" the statement of the monastics of the Rivne Eparchy said.
Earlier, Archbishop Pimen of Rivne reminded the Ukrainian authorities that the legislation of our state prescribes respect for every believer.