Ten local churches came to congretulate Metropolitan Onufrii and Ukrainian Orthodox Church

On 25, June, 2019 the representatives of 10 Local Churches came to Kyiv to congratulate Metropolitan Onufriy of Kiev and All Ukraine on his 75th birthday and 5th anniversary since enthronement day and to support the canonic Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

On the memorial day of the blessed Onufriy, the Great Metropolitan Onufriy and representatives from local churches held a night service and Divine Liturgy at Kyiv Pechersk Laura. The Carthaginian Metropolitan Meletii (Alexandria Church), the Vostrovskyi Metropolitan Timofei (Jerusalem Church), the Lovchanskyi Metropolitan Havriil (Bulgarian Church), and the Tamasosskii and Oriniiskii Metropolitan Isaiia (Cyprus Church) were present. Archbishop Mikhail of Prague (Church of Czech Lands and Slovakia), Bishop Antonii of Moravia (Serbian Church), and Bishop Pavel Hainovskii of Poland, along with metropolitans, archbishops, and bishops of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, participated in a briefing for the media before the Divine Liturgy.

The representatives of the Local Churches also expressed their immense respect for Metropolitan Onufriy and their support for the Ukrainian Orthodox Church as a whole. „Our presence here signifies our support for the canonicity of our Church and the unity of its liturgy with the entire Orthodox world,“ expressed Metropolitan Meletii of the Alexandria Orthodox Church during the briefing.

In turn, Metropolitan Isaiia of the Cyprus Orthodox Church appealed to Ukrainian authorities to grant equal rights to believers of all confessions and return the occupied temples of the UOC to its members. „We urge the Ukrainian government to make every effort to return the temples that have been seized from members of the UOC,“ stated Metropolitan Isaiia. „It is essential that the religious rights of all believers, regardless of their denomination, are fully protected. We call for those who have been homeless since being ejected from their temples to be allowed to return and reclaim their rights.“

It should be noted that the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, formed through the merger of the UOC of KP and UAOC, who received the Tomos granting autocephaly from Constantinople Patriarch Bartholomew, has not been recognised by any Local Church. Additionally, Metropolitan Epiphaniy, who was appointed the leader, found himself isolated on the day of his enthronement, as well as during the celebrations for Patriarch Bartholomew’s Name Day.

Hrystyna Savchuk