Kyiv accuses Orthodox Church leader of justifying Russia’s invasion – POLITICO read full article on

Ukrainian investigators are looking out the house of Metropolitan Pavel Lebed, an Orthodox Church chief, who they accuse of justifying Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and inciting inter-religious hatred.

Ukraine’s safety carrier (SBU) confirmed on Saturday that Pavel, who runs Ukraine’s maximum essential monastery, the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra, is suspected of violating the rustic’s legal code.

Pavel “in his public speeches time and again insulted the devout emotions of Ukrainians, humiliated the perspectives of believers of different denominations and attempted to shape antagonistic sentiments in opposition to them,” stated the SBU, which additionally printed what it alleges are telephone intercepts from Pavel’s sermons. He additionally “made statements that justified or denied the movements of the aggressor nation,” consistent with the carrier.

“Nowadays, the enemy is attempting to make use of the church setting to advertise its propaganda and cut up Ukrainian society,” the SBU’s head Vasyl Malyuk stated.

Pavel’s department of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church was once in the past underneath keep an eye on of Moscow clergy, however declared its independence in Would possibly final 12 months.

However Kyiv argues that the church must be closed down because of its pre-war ties to Moscow and has been seeking to evict Pavel and his fellow worshippers from his monastery.

Pavel has denied the allegations, arguing that Kyiv has no prison grounds for the eviction, according to the BBC. All over a court docket listening to on Saturday, he stated he has “by no means been at the aspect of aggression,” describing his present standing as “area arrest.”

The SBU has arrested dozens of clerics, accusing them of collaboration with Russia. Ultimate 12 months, the carrier raided the Lavra monastery and different constructions belonging to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. The church denies that there’s proof to strengthen the fees.

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