John Kerry Notes Ukrainian Churches’ Enormous Peacekeeping Role During Revolution
On March 4, during his official visit to Kyiv, US Secretary of State John Kerry met with representatives of the All-Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations. At the meeting, John Kerry commented on the religious community’s enormous peacekeeping role during the events on Independence Square.
The meeting with was held on Instytutska Street, where the secretary of state and religious leaders came together to lay flowers and commemorate those who were killed during the clashes in Kyiv.
John Kerry and the representatives of the Ukrainian churches walked along other barricades on the Maidan. The US official spoke with many of the people there who shared with him their views on what happened in Ukraine in the last three months, and especially during February 18-20 when nearly a hundred innocent people were killed.
According to the Information Department of the UGCC, Patriarch Sviatoslav Shevchuk thanked John Kerry for coming to Ukraine and asked for international support for the Ukrainian people and the Ukrainian government. The patriarch told the secretary of state that his presence in Kyiv, and especially on the Maidan, is very important for Ukrainians.
Representatives of the Jewish, Muslim, and Christian communities of Ukraine were present at the meeting with the secretary of state. The head of the church asked the American official to note that in Ukraine there is no interfaith or interethnic conflict. John Kerry said, “Yes, I see it.”