27 May 2019, 18:13
Patriarch Kirill hopes for end to discrimination against Orthodox Christians in Ukraine under new president
Strasbourg, May 27, Interfax - Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia hopes that the discrimination against Orthodox Christians will stop in Ukraine after the election of Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky.
"The rights of very many Orthodox Christians were rudely violated in Ukraine," the patriarch told reporters at Strasbourg Airport at the end of his visit to France.
"These violations caused real suffering, simply for the fact that they wanted to remain Orthodox and wanted to remain members of the Russian Orthodox Church," he said.
"Recent changes that have taken place in Ukraine in connection with the election of the new president certainly give some hope," the patriarch said.
"I know the opinions of many Orthodox Ukrainians; they link this choice [of the new president] to positive changes, such as discrimination for belonging to an Orthodox jurisdiction stopping and all people having equal rights. I share these hopes of Ukrainians in connection with Mr. Zelensky's election," Patriarch Kirill said.
"I very much hope that this Neanderthal policy where decent citizens are discriminated for belonging to a certain religious organization is absolutely unacceptable not only in Europe but also in most countries, will be forever abandoned in the life of Ukrainians," he said.
"I believe that my interlocutors here in Strasbourg share these hopes," the patriarch said.
As previously reported, Patriarch Kirill had meetings with Council of Europe Secretary General Torbjorn Jagland and Council of Europe Human Rights Commissioner Dunja Mijatovic.
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