U.S. supports right of Ukrainians to pray as they choose - Pompeo

U.S. supports right of Ukrainians to pray as they choose - Pompeo

The United States reaffirms its strong support for religious freedom and the freedom of members of religious groups, including Ukraine's Orthodox community, to govern their religion according to their beliefs, free of outside interference.

U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo said this in a statement published on the website of the State Department.

He said Washington supports "Ukrainians' ability to worship as they choose."

"Tolerance, restraint, and understanding are key to ensuring that people with different religious affiliations can live and prosper together in peace. We urge Church and government officials to actively promote these values in connection with the move towards the establishment of an autocephalous Ukrainian Orthodox Church," Pompeo said.

He also said the United States hopes the religious choice of Ukrainians will be respected by all.

On October 11, the Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate decided to grant a tomos (ordinance) of autocephaly to the Orthodox Church in Ukraine. Kyiv will now convene an assembly with the participation of the bishops of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyiv Patriarchate, the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church, and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate, who appealed to the Ecumenical Patriarch with a request for the tomos. The assembly will carry out the church unification, forming a single local UOC, and will elect its primate.

After that, the head of the single local autocephalous Ukrainian Orthodox Orthodox will receive the tomos as a document (letter).


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