Poroshenko sees Russian Orthodox Church as threat to Ukraine
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said he sees the Russian Orthodox Church as a threat to Ukraine.
"I guarantee that the authorities will not interfere in purely ecclesiastical affairs. But I declare that they won't allow other states to do so, either. To this end, I believe it is absolutely necessary to cut off all tentacles with which the aggressor country operates inside our state organism," Poroshenko said at ceremonies celebrating the 1030th anniversary of the Christianization of Kyivan Rus-Ukraine in Kyiv on Saturday.
The church in Russia "is separated from the state only on paper," but in reality, it "fully and unconditionally" supports "the Kremlin's imperial policy," he said.
"Moreover, the very doctrine of the 'Russian world' was born in the luxurious cells of the Russian Orthodox Church," Poroshenko said.
This situation is "a direct threat to Ukraine's national security," which "obliges us to act," he said.
"The tomos of autocephaly will complete the establishment of Ukraine's independence and self-rule, will strengthen religious freedom and inter-faith peace. It will strengthen the people's rights and freedoms," he said
Millions of Ukrainians expect the soonest possible recognition of an autocephalous Orthodox church in Ukraine and are prepared for this, he said.
Autocephaly is a factor of Ukrainian independence and national security, Poroshenko said.