Moscow Patriarchate Orthodox Church in Ukraine Finally Confronted

In the past weeks, Ukrainian authorities have significantly stepped up checks on the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate (UOC MP), a structure still subordinate to the Russian Orthodox Church despite declaring its “independence”.

In this regard, the lease was not renewed for the UOC MP’s use of a part of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra (Monastery of the Caves), a shrine controlled by the Moscow-related church for 337 years. A historic first service of the truly independent Orthodox Church of Ukraine was held there at Christmas. The Ukrainian church and the Ukrainian language thus returned to the Lavra – the monastery belonged to the Kyiv Metropolitanate from its foundation but in 1686 the Russian Church annexed the Kyiv Metropolitanate together with the Lavra.

Having been a center of Russian hybrid influence for decades, the Moscow-controlled church is finally losing its power over Ukrainians, and the Kremlin is not happy about it: Russia initiated a meeting of the UN Security Council on January 17 due to the “oppression of the single canonical Orthodox Church” in Ukraine in yet another pathetic attempt to justify its unprovoked aggression.