Birth of a new Ukrainian church brings fears of violence

  • Efrem Lukatsky / Associated Press file photo

    The thousand-year-old Monastery of Caves, the holiest site of Eastern Orthodox Christians, stands against the background of the Dnipro River, in Kiev, Ukraine, earlier this year.

  • Efrem Lukatsky / Associated Press

    Patriarch Filaret, head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kiev Patriarchate, center, conducts a service at the Volodymysky Cathedral in Kiev, Ukraine. earlier this month.

KIEV, Ukraine — The rough-looking young men brought clubs and brass knuckles to the Pechersk Monastery in Kiev, one of Orthodox Christianity’s most important pilgrimage sites, apparently seeking to disrupt worship. Police spread-eagled them against a wall decorated in faded centuries-old frescos of solemn saints, then hauled them away.