Independence Day celebrated by religious leaders in St Sophia’s Cathedral in Kyiv

HRWF (29.08.2022) – On Ukraine’s Independence Day celebrated on 24 August, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and his wife Olena took part in the solemn event “Prayer for Ukraine”, which took place in St. Sophia’s Cathedral in Kyiv.


The chamber choir performed “Our Father”. After that, heads of churches and religious organizations prayed for Ukraine and delivered speeches. They wished peace to come as soon as possible, as well as strength to the Ukrainian people to endure in times of ordeals.


After the speeches, the choir performed the spiritual hymn “God, the great one! Save Ukraine for us”.


The Head of State congratulated heads of churches and religious organizations and thanked them for the spiritual support of the Ukrainian people.

The Primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church/ Moscow Patriarchate, Metropolitan Onuphry, accompanied by Metropolitan Anthony, the UOC Chancellor, Metropolitan of Boryspil and Brovary, took part in the solemn event. His press department issued a specific press release about his participation as a sign of autonomy from the Russian Orthodox Church and about his congratulations on the 31st anniversary of Ukraine’s independence.


Patriarch Kirill of the Russian Orthodox Church who supports Russia’s war on Ukraine did not make any public comment about the dissenting position of Metropolitan Onufry and, as expected, did not spare a single thought for the Ukrainian Orthodox victims of the war. At the end of July, he had described “all Orthodox Ukrainians as children of Russian Orthodox Church”, a sort of forced spiritual adoption ignoring the free will of millions of Ukrainian Orthodox rejecting his authority and his grip on them. In the same press release of Interfax, he was quoted as saying:


“Everything that concerns Donbass, the Lugansk Region, the Kharkov Region – those places where people are suffering today – is very disturbing and hurts my heart, because all the Orthodox people who live there are children of the Moscow Patriarchate,” the patriarch said at a meeting with children who had come to Moscow from Donbass and Ukraine. (Emphasis added by HRWF).


After all speeches celebrating Ukraine’s Independence Day, the choir sang the spiritual anthem “God, the Great One, Save Ukraine for Us!”


The Head of State thanked the heads of the various religious denominations and organizations for their spiritual support.

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Further reading about FORB in Ukraine on HRWF website