President Petro Poroshenko said during today's parliamentary session, Censor.NET reports.
"I think everybody understands that we won't look on as the neighboring state interferes with our church affairs, trying to use the feelings of the Ukrainian Orthodox Christians for its own benefit," the president noted.
He also thanked MPs for addressing Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew to grant autocephaly to the Orthodox Church in Ukraine.
"Such a step was and is necessary, and considering the tradition by which the ecumenical patriarch pays special attention to the opinion of secular authorities, we have taken into account this tradition. And I hope, His Holiness will hear us and reckon with opinion polls indicating an increasing number of Orthodox citizens who want to have, as is customary in most Orthodox countries, a single local autocephalous Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
"And I want to assure you that autocephaly absolutely does not mean the establishment of a state church. The constitutional principles of interaction between the state and religious organizations will stay the same, and the freedom of conscience of any person will not be limited by someone or something. Every Ukrainian will have the right to believe in God in their own way and go to their church," Poroshenko stressed.
As previously reported, Ukrainian MPs supported an address to Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew on granting autocephaly to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church on June 16.
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