His Beatitude Sviatoslav met with the head of the State Service of Ukraine for Ethnic Policy and Freedom of Conscience
During the meeting, the head of the newly created Public Office explained the goals she set for herself and confirmed her openness and desire to communicate and cooperate with the UGCC.
During the conversation, His Beatitude Sviatoslav told how the UGCC sees the dynamics of the development of state-church relations. He recalled that the bodies of state power that dealt with religious organizations used to be, for the most part, repressive, aiming to control the Churches or even to subjugate them completely.
“Such a state policy is unacceptable in the new circumstances. Today we see a partnership model of state-church relations - when the state respects Churches and religious organizations and creates the necessary conditions for their free development. And the Churches respect the laws of Ukraine and, supporting the statehood, try to serve the Ukrainian society,” he emphasized.
The parties noted that a very important factor is when, regardless of the political forces in power, every Church or religious organization feels protected by their own country.
"Our Church is a minority. Therefore, we hope that this state service will ensure religious rights and freedoms for the UGCC as well,” added His Beatitude Sviatoslav.
During the conversation, the parties also noted that there are still many unresolved issues: status, restitution of church property, rehabilitation of those Churches that were repressed by the Soviet regime etc. "We hope that on the basis of equal treatment of all the Churches, we will be able to resolve all these issues," said His Beatitude Sviatoslav.