(ConservativeInsider.org) – In times of war, governments are often working overtime to root out any spies or internal strife since these things can quickly bring down a country. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s nation is no exception. The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) is currently cracking down on people who may support Russia, including clergy headquartered in Kyiv, the country’s capital.
On Saturday, April 1, a Kyiv court announced that Metropolitan Pavel, the leader of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra monastery, must remain on house arrest after being pushed out of the Orthodox monastery he was leading. Pavel denied the allegations he publicly and privately supports Russia’s year-long war in Ukraine, telling the judge he “was never on the side of aggression and never will be,” according to a video translation provided by The Washington Post.
Pavel is now wearing an ankle bracelet despite his protests. He told The Washington Post that the charges are “all fake” and he has “never had a political agenda.” This arrest came after the Ukrainian government asked Pavel and his fellow monks to leave the Lavra Monastery, which leases its space from the government.
Orthodox Christianity is very popular in both Russia and Ukraine and is a commonly practiced denomination of the faith with just a few less followers than Catholicism and Protestantism. Abbot Pavel leads his monastery under the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate, which is part of the Russian Orthodox Church, that reportedly works with the Kremlin and has voiced support for the war.
A Ukrainian court has placed the head of Kyiv’s most prominent monastery under house arrest on charges of justifying Russia’s armed aggression. https://t.co/MWgCIgkgHz
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) April 3, 2023
Russia’s ongoing war in Ukraine will only continue to tear the Orthodox Christian world in two. Many Orthodox churches in Ukraine denounced their ties to their Russian counterpart and pledged allegiance to the Orthodox Church of Ukraine. However, the SBU has investigated multiple congregations and found evidence that shows some practitioners still supporting Russia and its invasion plans.
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