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The brotherhood of the Tithes Monastery in Kiev, which was attacked by radical Ukrainian nationalists has appeared in court, not to condemn, but to seek forgiveness for the radicals who attacked them, threatening them with arson.
The attack was arranged by the S14 (C14 in Russian/Ukrainian) extremist group, which has been known for threatening Orthodox Churches they perceive as being “anti-Ukrainian”. This is the second story we published today about these attacks, see here for an incident in which the arson was successful, but the Church superstructure itself was saved.
Update: Now the Monastery is being threatened with demolition which the Kiev Building Council supports:
On February 5 brethren of the Tithes Monastery filed an application to the Court of Appeal in Kiev in which monks request to release the radicals, who had tried to set fire to the monastery, and offer to bail them out. It is written by the site of the monastery. … On February 3, three thousand believers of the UOC gathered for a prayer service in defense of the monastery from the radicals who threatened to destroy the shrine. For 10 hours the Orthodox defended the monastery.
On January 25, the radicals undertook publicly the assault of the Monastery, and at night tried to commit arson. Radicals threatening the monastery’s brethren shouted, “I’ll burn you, slut! You’re a KGB officer. I’ll kick you now with my leg, okay? You are a slut that has no place here – I tell you that in Russian. To you, clowns in skirts, there is no respect.”
Videos and photos of the attacks can be found here.
The Union of Orthodox Journalists has published a series of articles, chronicling the attacks against the monastery, which is all part of the ongoing campaign of Ukrainian nationalists against anything Russian, which is destroying Ukraine itself, more than anything else.
The leader of the monastery, Archimandrite Gideon, is an American citizen, who has appealed to President Donald Trump, that he take action in defense of the monastery, which has come under violent assault by the C14 radicals.
According to the Union of Orthodox Journalists:
On January 27, the Kiev court sentenced the instigators of the Tithes Monastery of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary of the UOC from the right-wing organization “S14” to detention for 2 months or to bailment of UAH 2 million 200 thousand for each.
One must not fall into despondency with Ukraine, although the country is facing terrible times, the land and people have been through worse. No matter how many radicals there are, there will always be millions of Russian-Ukrainian Orthodox Christians to drown out the madness and outnumber the extremists.
This we have seen, when crowds gathered in prayerful support of the monastery. As one can see by comparing the video of the extremist attacks, to the prayerful gathering, the Orthodox people outnumber radical in Ukraine by far.
If one needs more proof of how the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate is beyond compare to the nationalist “churches”, and absolutely outnumbers the radicals in every way, simply look at this video. The first three minutes of the video shows a religious gathering of the canonical church which had over 100,000 people in the streets of Kiev. Around 3:02 minutes [here], one can see the tiny mob which the nationalist Kiev Patriarchate put together…about 2,000 people.
All of this shows the Ukrainian Church of the Moscow Patriarchate has the true support of the people, and it’s no wonder why.
The way the brotherhood of the Orthodox monastery showed forgiveness of the radicals who wished nothing but violence and death upon them is exemplary, and something all Orthodox Christians can be proud of; moreover, this “turn the other cheek” attitude is common in the canonical church, whereas radical clerics of the other literally preech death, advocate for terrorism [shocking video], and side with Nazis.
The tithes monastery is located near the ruins of the legendary Tithes Church, the first stone church in Rus’, built by Saint Vladimir the Great, and destroyed in 1240 by the Mongols during the fall of Kievan Rus’.
For those unaware, in Ukraine, there are three churches which claim to be Orthodox, but only one of them is legitimate according to Orthodox Canon law – The Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate.
The canonical Church comes under constant attack from radical nationalists, who consider them to be “Russian KGB agents”, even as their primate, Metropolitan Onufry is among the most popular, beloved, and trusted voices in the country. He constantly preaches love and forgiveness, and it is no doubt he is the type of person who would forgive at the expense of his own life.
Even though he spent many years learning in the Moscow region, he was born in far western Ukraine, and can hardly be considered a political agent of any entity. Under his leadership, the Orthodox Church continues in its tradition of forgiveness, and that’s exactly what’s happened here.
The Ukrainian Orthodox Church is following The Lord’s teaching of turning the other cheek, which has long been held in the Russian Church.
“Scripture teaches us that if enemies want honor, gold, or glory, we give it, and God will lift them up to see your humility, and will suppress their unyielding pride.” Saint Sergius of Radonezh
This type of absolute humility confounds radicals, as they can not comprehend how people would not use violence when attacked. It may even change their hearts, but even if it does not, it will have a different effect on the average Ukrainian citizen.
They will take note, when the worst happens, which “churches” are making death threats, calling people traitors, and behaving like Nazis, and which Churches follow the teachings of Jesus. A simple comparison between the heretic Filaret, and Metropolitan Onufry shows this difference.
Those with eyes to see and ears to hear will not soon forget the example of the brothers of the Tithes Monastery, who went the extra mile to follow the Lord, and in this, they will see what it means to be an Orthodox Christian.