2019-08-08 20:25:00

Ukrainian Orthodox Church sees good signal in Zelensky's remarks at meeting with Patriarch Bartholomew

Kiev, August 8, Interfax - The Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC) has expressed its contentment with today's meeting between President Vladimir Zelensky and the Patriarch of Constantinople in Istanbul.

"The authorities shouldn't interfere in church affairs. I will defend the independence of the church," Zelensky told the patriarch.

"This sends a good signal to the church. One would like to hope that the era of brazen use of the church factor and gross state intervention in church affairs is left behind," the UOC deputy head of Department for External Church Relations Archpriest Nikolay Danilevich wrote on Facebook.

In his inauguration speech President Zelensky said that he will not divide Ukrainians into right and wrong, the priest recalled. "We remember how he shut deputy Lyashko's mouth on this matter. This is some centrism in politics and running of the state. This is good. There is a lack of it. Thus there is some restrained optimism.

"Perhaps, in future the takeovers of our churches will stop and they will be returned to believers."