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Kiev monastery's father superior urges international organizations to protect church

Archimandrite Gideon added that the church service overnight to Sunday will last all night long

KIEV, February 4. /TASS/. Father Superior of Kiev’s Monastery of the Tithes (Desyatinny Monastery) of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church reporting to the Moscow Patriarchate, Archimandrite Gideon (Charon), has called on the Ukrainian authorities, international organizations and US President Donald Trump to protect it from nationalists.

"We have got in touch with Ukraine’s Security Service, Kiev’s mayor and the Ukrainian president. We have written letters to all existing government bodies, including international organizations. We have appealed to the United Nations, to the ambassadors of many countries. We have also asked US President Donald Trump to protect the Desyatinny Monastery - the center of Orthodox Christianity where citizens of many countries, including US citizens, come to pray. We ask to protect the right to security and freedom of worship," the Ukrainian Orthodox Church’s Information Center quotes him as saying on Facebook.

Gideon added that the church service overnight to Sunday will last all night long. "The All-Night Vigil will begin soon. We will read the Psalm Book during the night. People feel cold, they are tired, because they have stayed here since 10:00 (11:00 Moscow Time). There are elderly people among them, it is difficult for them, but they stand and pray. The Acathistus is being read nonstop. Our cathedral can accommodate up to 200 people, while the rest remain outside. The clergy and believers from other dioceses come too," he noted.

The information Department of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church reporting to the Moscow Patriarchate informed TASS on Saturday that more than 3,000 believes joined the prayer service in support of the monastery’s Cathedral of the Nativity of the Theotokos in downtown Kiev. They thus responded to the Desyatinny Monastery’s statement that "under the guise of a peaceful rally of architects, dissenters and pagans backed by extremist groups and incited by some lawmakers are plotting the monastery’s forcible takeover." Alongside the church service, a rally was held outside the cathedral’s walls, "with about 200 participants speaking out in favor of demolishing the cathedral and releasing two individuals detained by the police who tried to burn it down on January 25."

According to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (of the Moscow Patriarchate), the worshippers were insulted, cursed, intimidated and threatened with violence by the participants in the rally. "Among the activists are members of the S14 terrorist organization, the National Corps [far-right political party], the Right Sector [outlawed in Russia] led by the party’s Chairman Andrey Tarasenko," the church noted. About 200 law enforcers along with Red Cross representatives were present at the scene.

The Desyatinny Monastery is located in the historical center of Kiev next to the first stone cathedral in Kievan Rus - the Church of the Tithes.