Victor Yushchenko met with members of the Council of Churches and Religious Organizations: Patriarch Filaret (Kyiv Orthodox Church), Metropolitan Mefodiiy (Autonomous Ukrainian Orthodox Church), Archbishop Lubomyr Huzar (Ukrainian Catholic Church), Mufti Akhmed Tamim, Archbishop Mitrofan and other religious leaders, the President press office informs.
Humanitarian Premier V. Kyrylenko, Justice Minister S. Holovaty, First Deputy Chief-of-Staff I. Vasyunyk, and Religious Department Head I. Bondarchuk also attended the meeting.
They discussed ways to preserve confessional peace and prevent churches and religious organizations from participating in this year’s election campaign.
The Chief of State urged those present to find means allowingthe government and confessions to build harmonic relations and assured them he would personallysupport this bid.
The President was told Ukraine faced few challenges ahead: giving premises and lands to religious communities; developingreligious education; optimizing the work of the Religious Department; improving mechanisms of interaction between the government and confessions.
The Council also wants to become a consultative body. The President said “the government must consider these problems and then solve them.” He complimented the authorities and religious leaders on their efforts to preserve confessional peace in Ukraine but said “the state is ready to promote understanding among all Ukrainian Christians.” Yushchenko pledged to never allow his government to interfere with religious affairs.
Then they signed a Declaration of Heads of Ukrainian Churches and Religious Organizations.
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