President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko guarantees the state’s respect for the religious choice of every citizen of the country. He said this in a statement broadcasted by 112 Ukraine after the ceremony of granting Tomos about the autocephaly to the Orthodox Church of Ukraine.
"As president, on behalf of the state I guarantee that Ukraine will respect the religious choice, freedom of religion of every citizen," he said, and then congratulated all Ukrainians on a historic event.
"Congratulations to all those who are not indifferent with the creation of the autocephalous Orthodox Church of Ukraine! Thanks to everyone who worked tirelessly on its development, created unity and restored justice. We have fulfilled our duty to past and future generations. Thank God! Glory to Ukraine!" he said.
The head of state stressed that for Ukrainians, their own church is a guarantee of spiritual freedom and social harmony.
"Tomos is actually another act of proclaiming Ukraine’s independence. It will strengthen religious freedom, interfaith peace, strengthen the rights and freedoms of citizens. Especially those who were out of communion with ecumenical Orthodoxy and were unfairly denounced as uncanonical," he said.
Earlier Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew passed the Tomos of autocephaly and bishops’ crosier to primate of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine Epifaniy. The event happened during the festive service in St. George's Cathedral, 112 Ukraine broadcasted the event.
Yesterday, January 5, the ceremony of signing the Tomos of autocephaly of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine took place in Istanbul.
President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko took part in the ceremony of the Tomos delivery and the divine liturgy said by the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople and the primate of the UOC.
The festive service took place in St. George's Cathedral in Istanbul. This Orthodox cathedral in the Phanar district of Istanbul has been the residence of the Patriarch of Constantinople since 1601.
On January 7, the Christmas day, a divine liturgy will take place at Saint Sophia's Cathedral, where Tomos will be demonstrated on the granting of autocephaly to the newly established Orthodox Church of Ukraine.