14 Dec 2018 10:47

Patriarch Kirill urges political, religious leaders worldwide to defend Ukrainian Orthodox Church

MOSCOW. Dec 14 (Interfax) - Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia has forwarded messages to the heads of Orthodox churches, the pope, the Anglican Church leader, the president of France, the German chancellor, and the leaders of other countries over the Ukrainian authorities' pressure on the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and Kyiv's interference in church life in Ukraine.

According to the Moscow Patriarchate's website, Patriarch Kirill called on the clergy, politicians and the heads of international organizations to make every effort to protect the bishops, priests and followers of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and defend freedom of conscience and religion guaranteed by international law.

"The interference by the leaders of the secular Ukrainian state in church affairs has recently assumed the shape of undue pressure being exerted on the bishops and priests of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. This allows me to speak of the start of all-out persecution," the head of the Russian Orthodox Church said in his message.