Religious fake: Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra, UOC (MP), and photo manipulation

Religious fake: Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra, UOC (MP), and photo manipulation

Fact Check
Russian propaganda passed off the gathering of believers for the divine liturgy as a protest rally

The Kremlin mass media and pro-war Telegram channels spread fake information claiming that Ukrainians hold massive rallies in Kyiv against the eviction of representatives of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Moscow Patriarchate (UOC MP) from the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra.

As evidence, they publish a photo showing a large crowd of people near the Lavra.

This is a fake. The photo was taken on March 12, 2023. On that day, the faithful gathered for a divine liturgy at the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra, which was performed by Head of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine Epiphanius at the Dormition Cathedral, in the territory of the Lavra.

On March 10, the National Reserve "Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra" sent a warning to the Holy Dormition Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra (Men's Monastery) of the UOC MP about the termination of the agreement dated July 19, 2013 on the free use of religious buildings and other property by the religious organization after the Interdepartmental working group detected the violations of the agreement terms. According to the group’s findings, the UOC MP representatives must leave the Lavra premises by March 29.

The majority of Ukrainians support the decision to evict the UOC (MP) from the Lavra. According to the opinion poll conducted by Active Group on March 4-10, more than 63% of Ukrainians expressed their support for the eviction of the monks of the Moscow Patriarchate from the churches in the territory of the Lavra.

Andriy Olenin

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