Poroshenko promised to respect the rights of the faithful of the UOC

© RIA Novosti / Michael Palinketi in Photobacterium of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko speaks at a meeting of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine. 20 Sep 2018Poroshenko promised to respect the rights of the faithful of the UOC© RIA Novosti / Michael Palinketi the image Bank

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko promises to respect the rights of believers of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, after receiving the non-canonical religious structures of autocephaly.

«I guarantee that the government will respect the choice of those who decide to remain in the Church structure, which is the unity with the Russian Orthodox Church, and call it will be the same. But at the same time I guarantee that the state will protect the rights of those priests and faithful of the UOC of the Moscow Patriarchate who voluntarily decide to get out from under Moscow and will create a single Ukrainian Orthodox Church,» — said Poroshenko.

In Ukraine today there are canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC), which is a self-governing Church of the Moscow Patriarchate, and unrecognized by the world Orthodox Church structures — «Kyivan Patriarchate» and the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church. UOC has repeatedly reported on cases of harassment of priests and seizures of Orthodox churches.

The President of Ukraine, despite its promises of non-interference by the state in Church Affairs, trying to achieve recognition of non-canonical religious structures and creation on their basis one local Autocephalous Church in Ukraine, outside the framework of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. The Patriarchate of Constantinople had previously reported that «in preparation for the granting of autocephaly» was appointed its Exarch in Kyiv, they were Pamphylian Archbishop Daniel and Bishop Hilarion of Edmonton Canada. This decision strongly condemned the Orthodox Church, calling it an intrusion on the canonical territory of other local churches.