Copyright © 2021

The work of Euromaidan Press is supported by the International Renaissance Foundation

When referencing our materials, please include an active hyperlink to the Euromaidan Press material and a maximum 500-character extract of the story. To reprint anything longer, written permission must be acquired from [email protected].

Privacy and Cookie Policies.

Moscow patriarch not welcome in Kyiv, says Culture Ministry

Moscow patriarch not welcome in Kyiv, says Culture Ministry
Patriarch Kirill with Vladimir Putin © AFP/File YANA LAPIKOVA

Ukraine’s Ministry of Culture has announced that a visit to Kyiv by Patriarch Kirill, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, is undesirable.

Volodymyr Yushkevych, the head of the Department of Religious and Ethnic Affairs at Ukraine’s Ministry of Culture, explained his reasons in an official statement posted on the Ministry of Culture website, June 19, referring to the Holy Synod of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate that currently taking place at the Kyiv Pechersk Lavra:

As has been reported by various media sources, this Synod of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, under pressure from external forces, may reach a decision to invite the Moscow Patriarch Kirill to Ukraine. Therefore, as the head of the of the state authority responsible for church-state relations, I wish to announce that this visit during ongoing Russian military aggression against Ukraine is undesirable, provocative and designed for political ends.

I assure you that Ukraine will do everything within available law and legislation for this visit not to take place on any territory in Ukraine, including temporarily occupied territories. In my view, such a visit by the head of the Russian Orthodox Church can only provoke a wave of inter-confessional conflict. Therefore, this visit would be possible only after Russia ceases its aggression and returns all the territories it has seized from Ukraine.

Additionally, I want to inform you that Ukraine will not allow politicians to interfere in the internal matters of churches and religious organizations and, without exception, will continue to ensure the protection of the rights and freedoms of citizens, especially in matters of the freedom of conscience and religion.

I would like to take this opportunity to wish the members of the Holy Synod of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church productive work and informed and responsible decisions that will benefit the Church and an independent and united Ukraine at this difficult time for the people of Ukraine.

Director of the Department for Religious and Ethnic Affairs at the Ministry of Culture of Ukraine Volodymyr Yushkevych

Translation: Anna Mostovych



You could close this page. Or you could join our community and help us produce more materials like this.  We keep our reporting open and accessible to everyone because we believe in the power of free information. This is why our small, cost-effective team depends on the support of readers like you to bring deliver timely news, quality analysis, and on-the-ground reports about Russia's war against Ukraine and Ukraine's struggle to build a democratic society. A little bit goes a long way: for as little as the cost of one cup of coffee a month, you can help build bridges between Ukraine and the rest of the world, plus become a co-creator and vote for topics we should cover next. Become a patron or see other ways to support. Become a Patron!

To suggest a correction or clarification, write to us here

You can also highlight the text and press Ctrl + Enter

Please leave your suggestions or corrections here

    Related Posts