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    Ukraine’s Council of Churches meets with G7 envoys

    On June 11, 2024, Metropolitan Epifaniy of Kyiv and All Ukraine took part in the meeting of the All-Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations with Ambassadors and authorized representatives of the G7 nations, which took place in the premises of the Ukrainian Bible Society.

    That’s according to the OCU press service, Ukrinform reports.

    At the outset of the meeting, dedicated to religious freedom in Ukraine, including in the temporarily occupied territories, and the support for Ukraine in the face of Russia’s full-scale aggression, Metropolitan Epifaniy addressed the G7 diplomats with the following key theses:

    1. The fight against Russian aggression is that against the attempts of dictatorial regimes to change the life in the world in their favor.
    2. The Council condemns all manifestations of separatism and the “Russian world” ideology as a justification for Russia’s aggression.
    3. Russian religious associations, especially the Moscow Patriarchate, became a tool for the spread of this ideology, referring to the war as “holy”. The ideology also defines the so-called “West”, that is, the free democratic world, as Russia’s foe. In essence, the ideology in many elements repeats that of Nazism, which justified and fueled the war and ultimately led the world to disaster.
    4. Protection from the influence of the ideology of the “Russian world” and Russian religious institutions, which have become tools of the dictatorship, is necessary for the protection of freedom of conscience.
    5. Ukrainian authorities should limit Russia’s influence on Ukrainian religious organizations as a requirement of national security.
    6. In the occupied territories, Russia violates freedom of conscience by persecuting religious figures and prohibiting activities, except for the Moscow Patriarchate.
    7. International spotlight may force Russia to reduce pressure on believers in the occupied regions.

    Other heads and representatives of Churches and religious organizations of Ukraine also expressed their opinions. In turn, the G7 diplomats put their questions to the representatives of the Council and once again emphasized that the democratic world fully supports Ukraine in its effort to repel hybrid Russian aggression.

    The head of the autocephalous Ukrainian Orthodox Church was accompanied by the deputy head of the Department of External Church Relations, Metropolitan Yevstratiy of Bila Tserkva.

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