Primates of the OCU and UOC-MP congratulate the Greek people on the 200th anniversary of the struggle for independence
Metropolitan Epifaniy of Kyiv and all Ukraine conveyed their greetings to the Primates and the fullness of the Orthodox Churches of the Greek tradition, the friendly people of Greece and ethnic Greeks in our country and around the world.
The Orthodox Church played a special role in the struggle for the independence of the Greek people. For centuries of enslavement, it was the Orthodox Church that was the institution that preserved the spiritual, ethnic and cultural identity of the Greeks both in their historic homeland and in the vast expanse of settlement that began in ancient times.
The uprising against Ottoman rule was a movement for its own state independence, for national and religious freedom. After all, it is impossible to have true freedom without spiritual freedom. Although the world has changed in the two centuries that have passed since then, Orthodoxy still occupies a special, prominent place in the life of the Greek people, connecting it beyond the borders of modern countries and the canonical territories of Autocephalous Churches.
Since then, our people have always had a close spiritual and cultural connection with the Hellenic world. І хоча насиллям і обманом у 1686 р. using the violence and deception, Moscow tore the Kyiv Metropolia away from the Ecumenical Patriarchate, and we have never forgotten the truth. And this truth has won out in our time thanks to His Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and Our Mother, the Great Church of Christ in Constantinople, who granted the Tomos of autocephaly to the Orthodox Church of Ukraine.
I cordially congratulate the Greeks all over the world on this significant historical date and wish you a fruitful continuation of the work of ecclesiastical and national revival started by your great - grandfathers two centuries ago," Metropolitan Epifaniy's message of greetings reads.
The Primate of the UOC-MP, Metropolitan Onufriy, sent a congratulatory letter to the president of the Hellenic Republic Ekaterina Sakellaropoulou.
"During the four centuries of the Greek people's captivity, it was the Church of Christ and the Orthodox faith that were the life-giving light that allowed your people to survive the darkness of non-religious and foreign rule and preserve their identity. It is symbolic that the uprising of 1821 itself began on the day of the feast of the Annunciation of the Most Holy Theotokos with the blessing of Metropolitan Stary Patr Herman.
I am also pleased to state that Ukraine, on whose territory a significant Greek diaspora has lived from time immemorial and still lives today, is directly related to this outstanding date. The Greeks of Odessa, Mariupol, Kherson, Nizhyn and other Ukrainian cities for many years lived by faith in the independence of their homeland and formed the prerequisites for the Greek uprising of 1821. I wish the fraternal Greek people peace, prosperity, development and God's blessing!" wrote Metropolitan Onufriy of the UOC-MP.