Adventists of Ukraine positively assess establishment of OCU and call for strict observance of religious freedom
“The Seventh-day Adventist Church, a worldwide Christian Church, which brings together more than 20 million people in nearly all countries of the world, takes a positive stance towards all the movements and activities that have served the unification of people, the search for ways of peaceful coexistence and understanding” – this is how the Adventists responded to the creation of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine.
However, the statement by the leadership of the Adventist Church in Ukraine claims that the unification of the Ukrainian Orthodoxy “can only be voluntary, with no coercion and threats: In the context of the movement of Ukrainian Orthodoxy to autocephaly, such association of believers can only be voluntary. No coercion, hidden threats in respect of the worldview, moral, spiritual self-determination of a person or groups of people can ever take place.”
The Adventists expressed concern in their statement “whether the personal choices of a person in matters of faith become a litmus test of loyalty to the state,” arguing that “today, 64 countries of the world feature religious symbols on their flags. Although it is declared that this is respect for history, the tribute to tradition, and not the issue of today's confession of faith, it should be noted that this is not always the case. Some countries, unfortunately, allow persecution and intolerance to those who do not believe in line with the majority, and present it as a symbol of loyalty to their state.”
The Adventists expressed confidence that "the significant processes that take place in the religious environment of Ukraine will not curtail freedom that our state gains at such a price.”
The Seventh-day Adventist Church in Ukraine calls upon everyone to highly appreciate and preserve the fundamental principle of true understanding and unity, namely, religious freedom, which is incorporated into the Constitution of Ukraine (Article 35).