St Laurence of Chernigov (Feast: 11 January) said that during ‘the little freedom’ (which we now know to be the period since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991 and which continues to this day – Ed.), ‘churches and monasteries will open and be restored, but all manner of false teachings will appear, through demons and secret atheists (Catholics, Uniats, self-consecrated Ukrainian schismatics). These will join battle against the Russian Orthodox Church and her unity and catholicity in the Ukraine. The schismatics will be supported by an atheist government’ .
He added that: ‘We must resist the invasion of ‘the civilized world’, that is, dark demonic forces, which will try and penetrate into spiritually undefended areas. They will seize church buildings from the Orthodox and beat up the faithful. Then the Metropolitan of Kiev (unworthy of his name) with his supporting clergy will shake the Russian Church to the foundations. The whole world will be astonished at his iniquity and stand in fear (just as we do today – Ed.). But he will go to eternal perdition like Judas. All these assaults of the evil one and false teachings will disappear in Russia and there will be One Orthodox Church of All Rus’.
‘Kiev, without the great Russia and separate from it, is anyway completely unthinkable. Kiev has never had a Patriarch. Our enemies in Poland so much disliked the word ‘Rus’ that they changed the name of this area to Little Russia and then to ‘the Ukraine’ (meaning ‘the borderlands’), so that we will forget the name Rus and so forever be torn away from Orthodox Holy Rus. In those who have erred or fallen away from Orthodoxy there is no grace of the Holy Spirit, salvation or obtaining of the Kingdom of Heaven’.
‘To break away from the Church is the greatest and unforgiveable sin, for it is the sin against the Holy Spirit’. Towards the end of St Laurence’s life the head priest of the Kiev Caves Lavra, Fr Kronid, said that self-consecrated schismatics and Uniats had disappeared. But St Laurence answered: ‘The demon will enter them and they will attack the Orthodox Faith and Church with Satanic malice, but they will suffer a shameful end and their followers will bear a heavenly punishment from the Lord and King of Hosts’.
‘Then all heresies and schisms will vanish from Russia. The Church will not be persecuted. The Lord will have mercy on Holy Rus because it suffered the terrible period before Antichrist. A great host of Martyrs and Confessors shone forth there, beginning with the highest levels of the clergy and society, the Metropolitan and the Tsar, the priest and the monk, the child and the babe in arms and laypeople. They all beseech the Lord…’.
‘You must be quite clear that Russia is the portion of the Queen of Heaven, She cares for it and intercedes for it especially. The whole host of Russian saints with the Mother of God will ask that Russia be spared. The faith will prosper in Russia and there will be rejoicing as before (though only for a short time, as the Dread Judge will come to judge the living and the dead). Even Antichrist himself will fear the Tsar of Rus. But all the other countries will be under Antichrist’s control and suffer all the horrors and torments described in the Holy Scriptures’.