The Ukrainian Government Will Be Sending Thousands Of Russian Orthodox Relics And Icons To Germany And The Vatican. Russia Warns That The Relics And Icons Will Be Sold For Profit By Westerners

Make their nobles like Oreb, and like Zeeb: yea, all their princes as Zebah, and as Zalmunna:

Who said, Let us take to ourselves the houses of God in possession. (Psalm 83:11-12)

Thousands of icons and relics will be taken from the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra and given over to museums in France, Italy, Germany and the Vatican. They are saying that these sacred objects will be only in these places temporarily, but the Russians are warning that the Westerners will be keeping them for profit. Russian Foreign Intelligence Service, Sergei Naryshkin, warned that an agreement was reached between Kyiv and UNESCO on the amount of Christian holy items from the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra, including the relics of saints.  These holy relics that were given to the head of the Russian Church Mission in Jerusalem — Bishop Porfirius — in the middle of the 19th century as a gift from the Sinai Monastery of St. Catherine, are now being given over to the West which does care at all about them. The Europeans, whose ancient surfaces are skeletons that once held the zealous souls of western Christendom, see Christianity as a mere ancient object to admire for its aesthetics and art, as something to sing about during Christmas. The Vatican is suppose to be God’s representative on the earth — and it held the mantel for Christ — but now you have the Pope himself condemning Uganda for merely making a law against the agenda of Sodom, while Russia has abolished LGBT propaganda. And these holy objects — these icons of saints and engravings of Heaven’s sages — are going to be pried away from the hands of those who seek to destroy Sodom and sent to those who embrace the idols of Sodom? They argue that the sacred items are only going to be sent to these countries and the Vatican temporarily to protect them from the war. But why not send them to Russia where they will actually be revered and honored? They don’t think Russia would protect them?

It is purely disgusting and criminal that this is happening. As Naryshkin pointed out, to the West the Orthodox heritage is only a valuable artifact, but for the Russian world it is sacred and has no price. But the West seizing relics from the Orthodox is not new. As Mihail Tyurenkov explained, this phenomena took place in 1204 when the Franks pillaged Constantinople during the Fourth “Crusade.” Similar things took place during the Polish-Lithuanian intervention in the beginning of the 17th century, and Napoleon’s invasion in 1812. “The same thing is being done by UNESCO,” says Tyurenkov, “an absolutely Russophobic pseudo-cultural organization, from which it is high time for Russia to leave.” Meanwhile  the abbot of the Lavra, Metropolitan Pavle, was placed under house arrest on charges of “inciting inter-religious hatred” and “justifying the armed aggression of the Russian Federation”. And the monks of the monastery, the guardians of the holy places, behind whom the faithful stood, were forbidden access to certain monasteries of the Lavra complex.  Journalist Julia Vityazeva has warned that “everything looted” will eventually end up in private collections in the West. Ukrainian authorities are now planning to reconstruct the monastic caves of the Lavra, and have removed signs that said “Here we don’t pray for schismatics and Uniates.” Viktor Yelensky, the head of the State Service for Ethnopolitics and Freedom of Conscience, said:

“They are examining (the commission of the Ministry of Culture – Ed.) building by building. We remember how notices were hung on the Lavra churches: ‘Here we don’t pray for schismatics and Uniates.’ Now, thank God, this is no longer so. It remains for the specialists to do an additional examination, take it into state ownership. And then after a certain reconstruction – because there is a need for reconstruction, for example, caves – it will be decided how the monastic life will continue”

Uniates are Ukrainian Greek Catholics, and they have a very long history of hostility with the Russian Orthodox and even with Polish Catholics. During the Second World War, the Major Archbishop of the Uniates, Josyf Slipyj, helped found the SS Waffen Galician division which would take part in the extermination of Jews and Poles; and Slipyj, after the War, was promoted to the position of Cardinal.

The Ukrainians want to digitize all of the icons, relics and carvings in the Lavra. The Ministry of Culture has announced that, in cooperation with the American company “Digital Transition”,  all objects and documents stored in the Lavra will be digitized. The plan is to digitize 15,000 objects, paintings, icons of the Lavra icon painting workshop, wood carvings, engravings and designs from the 17th-19th centuries. “We must use digitization as a tool to preserve our heritage, as well as to increase its availability and promotion in the world. I am grateful to our partners for giving the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra the opportunity to preserve, develop and master digital technologies,” said Deputy Minister of Culture Anastasia Bondar. According to a new decision by the Ukrainian government, for the purposes of reconstruction and digitization, monks are prohibited from entering the caves. 

The ravenous wolves of Ukraine — with their love of those murderous scoundrels who they call heroes (Bandera, Melnyk, Shukhevych) — surround the Russian Church and masquerade their hatred under the mask of justice, under the facade that they are merely going against the allies of the Russian offensive. But truly this is a hatred that existed before the war, and even before the conflict broke out in 2014. One can go back to the early 2000s and find the declarations of animosity against the Russian Orthodox Church. 

In 2008, Iryna Farion, another Ukrainian nationalist leader, said: “I think that the structure that calls itself a Moscow Patriarchate has nothing to do with Christianity. It is one of the greatest threats for independent and self-sustained development of Ukraine. As long as this institution occupies the Kyiv Pecherska Lavra [an ancient monastery in Ukraine], a Ukrainian will be enslaved.”

In July of 2010, when Patriarch Kirill visited Ukraine, Ukrainian nationalists met him with signs that said, “Down with Moscow Colonizer Priest,” “Ukrainian Orthodox Church against Moscow Heresy,” and “Moscow Patriarchate — Spiritual Occupant”. On May of 2012, around thirty Ukrainian nationalists attacked a church in the Dnieper part of Kiev. They vandalized Christian symbols, destroyed the altar, damaged the Crucifix and icons and threatened the clergy. In the name of the nation, they became antichrist. In April of 2013, three hundred Ukrainian nationalists, carrying the flags of the nazi Svoboda party, tried to storm a church in Novo-Arkhangelsk. They broke the gates and the doors of the church and tried to hit the clergy who were in the courtyard of the church (see Byshok & Kochetkov, Neo-Nazis & Euromaidan, pp. 71-72)

Neither the rhetoric nor the hatred has changed. The hatred has been there for decades. The current has given the nationalists the opportunity to do what they have wanted to do even before the Euromaidan, which is to persecute the Moscow Patriarchate.

In July of 2023, Ukrainian MP Inna Sovsun stated that the Ukrainian Orthodox Church under the Moscow Patriarch should be transferred either to the Orthodox Church of Ukraine or the Uniate Church, arguing that the Ukrainian Orthodox Church “is not a religious organization, but a branch of the KGB, which flourishes here in Ukraine”. Sovsun argues that the Ukrainian parliament needs to ban the Ukrainian Orthodox Church because its under the Moscow Patriarchate. She makes excuses for violence against Ukrainian Orthodox Church priests by stating that because the parliament is unwilling to ban the Ukrainian Orthodox Church locals have to forcefully kick out the priests. “Due to the lack of political will of the Parliament to actively get involved and make this decision (the UOC ban – Ed.), these decisions are ultimately made on the ground” said Sovsun who went on to say that banning the Moscow Patriarchate would spare locals “from the need to enter into conflict situations and forcefully kick out the priests of the Russian Orthodox Church from Ukrainian churches.” In other words, violence against Moscow Patriarchate priests is necessary according to Sovsun.

Kiev has ordered the monks out of the Lavra, giving them until July 4th to leave. But the monastics are still resisting, declaring the order to be illegal. The Ukrainian Orthodox Church under the Moscow Patriarchate made a statement that: “Accordingly, the Reserve has no legal grounds for such actions, and the demand to vacate the buildings and hand over the keys to them is illegal and should be regarded as arbitrariness”.

These Ukrainian nationalists say with Zebah, and as Zalmunna: “Let us take to ourselves the houses of God in possession.” (Psalm 83:11-12)