Filaret asks Trump to support the UOC-KP
The text of the letter was published on the UOC-KP website on August 12.
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP
THE WHITE HOUSE
1600 PENNSYLVANIA AVENUE NW
WASHINGTON, DC 20500
DEAR MR. PRESIDENT
I address you as the head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC) of the Kyiv Patriarchate, which is a truly independent Church of the Ukrainian people and unites millions of Orthodox Ukrainian believers, both in Ukraine and abroad, including those who are citizens of the United States of America.
The United States is a strategic partner of Ukraine. Since its foundation, your great country has been proud of the inviolability of civil liberties and freedom of religion, has always stood for their protection throughout the world, and has supported the democratic development of our state.
Unfortunately, some malicious forces use U.S. authority in Ukraine to violate human rights in our country, impose their vision of religious affiliation by anti-democratic methods, involving even representatives of the U.S. State Department (for example, the visit of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on January 31, 2020, to the St. Michael’s Golden-Domed Monastery in Kyiv, was used by representatives of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine — a competing Orthodox religious institution — for its propaganda purposes).
We do not want U.S. State Department officials to fall victim to manipulators, to interfere in purely internal Ukrainian religious affairs, supporting only one denomination. We want all denominations and religions in Ukraine to develop as freely as in the United States.
In January 2019, the UOC of the Kyiv Patriarchate was illegally deprived of its legal status (deregistered), its property confiscated in favor of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, and, since then, our Church has been persecuted and unable to fully carry out its spiritual mission, and believers are discriminated against in their choice of denomination.
Unfortunately, in 2019, Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople granted the Ukrainian Church a “Tomos” – not a real autocephaly, but a document of dependence on himself, and today he insists on the liquidation of the Kyiv Patriarchate. However, a significant part of Orthodox believers of Ukraine has firmly decided to remain in the UOC of the Kyiv Patriarchate.
I ask for your support in the struggle for freedom of conscience and religions, the right of believers of the UOC of the Kyiv Patriarchate to belong to the Church they have defined.
I believe that, with God’s help, the United States and Ukraine will overcome all difficulties and continue to strengthen the strategic partnership, and the rights of the faithful of our Holy Church will be inviolable.
I invoke God’s blessing on you.
With respect and best wishes,
PATRIARCH OF KYIV
AND ALL RUS-UKRAINE