Moscow Patriarchate will not dictate terms to Ukraine - Poroshenko

Moscow Patriarchate will not dictate terms to Ukraine - Poroshenko

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has said that Russia will not be able to fuel the interreligious conflict in Ukraine due to the creation of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church.

He stated this at a local government forum in Kyiv on Wednesday, an Ukrinform correspondent reported.

"We will not allow the Kremlin to fuel the interreligious conflict," Poroshenko said, adding that in this issue a lot depends not only on the central government and law enforcement agencies, but also on local self-governance bodies.

In this context, he called on the local authorities not to allow any provocations and violence on religious grounds.

At the same time, Poroshenko recalled that the Autocephalous Ukrainian Orthodox Church would not be a state one and that the government guarantees the constitutional right to freedom of religion, including for those citizens who want to remain in unity with the Russian church.

"The Moscow Patriarchate will not dictate terms. It will not tell us who is canonical in our country and who is blessed. The believers themselves will choose which church to visit, and nobody will force anyone to anything," he added.

On April 17, President Petro Poroshenko submitted an official request to the Ecumenical Patriarch to grant autocephaly to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

On October 11, the Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate decided to grant a tomos of autocephaly to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

At a three-day meeting that ended on November 29, the Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate approved a draft constitutional charter of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. At the same time, the date for a unification council was not announced.

On December 5, Poroshenko said that the unification council would be held at Saint Sophia Cathedral in Kyiv on December 15.


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