Newly elected head of OCU thanks U.S. for supporting “independent” Church
On December 20, a meeting of “Metropolitan of Kiev and All Ukraine” Epiphany Dumenko with the US Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch took place in Kiev.
The newly elected "primate" thanked the United States of America for their efforts to protect religious freedom around the world, as well as for supporting the right of Orthodox Ukrainians to an "independent" Church "according to their own choice," reports the Greek edition “Romfea”.
In turn, the US Ambassador to Ukraine congratulated Epiphany on his election as head of the OCU.
“Tolerance, restraint and understanding are decisive factors that provide an opportunity for people with different religious beliefs to live and flourish peacefully together,” said Marie Yovanovitch.
According to the “Kiev Eparchy Gazette”, the meeting was held at the Vydubichi Monastery and provided for an exchange of views "on a number of issues related to the practical aspects of the emergence of the single Local Church."
As reported, the Secretary of State Mike Pompeo held a telephone conversation with the head of the OCU, in which he stressed that the United States support the religious freedom and sovereignty of Ukraine and also urged to respect "the possibility of all Ukrainians to practice the religion of their choice."
Earlier, the Deputy Head of the State Department Press Service Robert Palladino said that the United States supports the new church structure created in Ukraine and the freedom of religion should not be obstructed from the outside.