The head of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, Metropolitan Epifaniy, recalled on his Facebook page how 30 years ago, on December 1, the Ukrainian nation confirmed the Act of Independence of Ukraine in an all-Ukrainian referendum and openly testified to the international community their decision to live in an independent country.
“Over these 30 years, our family has strengthened, got back on its feet, learned the lessons of history, achieved a lot, and lived through many happy, as well as sad events. Remembering each year all the events and circumstances that allowed us to live as an independent family, we realize: although we are all very different, we are united in having no doubt on whether that decision was right. And now, as back then, we are unanimous in our desire to remain free, independent, and sovereign – despite all sorts of insidious attempts to pit us against each other again, separate us, divide us, before snatching what has been gained at such a high cost for us all,” said Metropolitan Epifaniy.
He noted that on December 1, 1991, there was no region, no settlement, where the idea of Ukraine’s independence would not find support of the majority of citizens. In Crimea, 54.19% of residents voted for Ukrainian independence, in Sevastopol it was 57.07%, in Donetsk, Luhansk, Odesa and Kharkiv regions, more than 80% of residents expressed their will to live in their own state. And in other regions, more than 95% of residents voted in favor of independence.
“Today, the enemies are trying to tear some of these regions away from our family by force and lies,” said the Metropolitan of Kyiv and All Ukraine. “These are the adversaries who always want more, who are almost ‘physically hurt’ to see others live a happy life, who envy others because the ‘neighbor’s grass is always greener,’ who got lost in the darkness of sin and forgot Christian commandments. Indeed, we have to defend ourselves today, but we know that God is on our side because He always stands for the truth. Therefore, we will definitely win as we don’t seek what belongs to others, we defend what’s ours. So a fair peace will prevail in Ukraine. For the Lord never gets embarrassed. ”
“Recalling the popular will of December 1, 1991, let us thank the Lord for allowing this to happen back then. That He rewarded us with a great gift of freedom and independence – both the state and the church. And let us remember that it is our responsibility to preserve, affirm, multiply, and pass on this gift to future generations – who will once, like us today, remember us and, with God’s help, thank us for everything!” the OCU head concluded.