The state Department will «promote religious freedom» in Ukraine

© RIA Novosti / Grigory to Castinplace in fotoannunci shares of parishioners of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate in Kiev. Archival photoThe state Department will «promote religious freedom» in Ukraine© RIA Novosti / Grigory to Castinplace the image Bank

The representative of US state Department on freedom of religion Sam Brownback will visit from 10 to 19 September, the Ukraine, Poland and Uzbekistan, reported in the American foreign Ministry.

In Ukraine Brownback will discuss with government representatives and religious leaders «efforts to protect and promote religious freedom,» reads the message of the state Department. The Ministry did not say whether Brownback to discuss the issue of granting autocephaly to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate.

Debate over autocephaly

On Friday, the Ecumenical Patriarchate has announced that it has appointed its Exarch in Kyiv in the framework of the granting of autocephaly of the UOC. The Moscow Patriarchate has condemned the decision, accusing the Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew in the invasion of the canonical territory of other local churches.

In the Russian Orthodox Church threatened to break off the Eucharistic communion with the Patriarchate of Constantinople and promised to give «very tough response» in the case of the granting of autocephaly of the Ukrainian Church. The Chairman of the Synodal Department for Church and society and the media Vladimir Legoyda noted that the United States has a certain influence on the Patriarchate of Constantinople, including politically.

The state Department will «promote religious freedom» in Ukraine© RIA Novosti / Vitaly Policypro Autocephalous

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