Religious freedom is unquestionable achievement of independent Ukraine - Myroslav Marynovych on the First of December Referendum
Vice-rector of Ukrainian Catholic University, a member of the initiative group “The First of December” Myroslav Marynovych believes religious freedom has been the greatest achievement of Ukraine over 25 years of independence. He has said this in an interview to Gazeta.ua.
The vice-rector of UCU identified three main components, urging so many Ukrainians vote for independence on December 1, 1991.
“First of all, it was the popularity of the idea of independence. There was the National Movement (Narodny Rukh) of Vyacheslav Chornovil. Everyone felt that the Soviet Union was set to collapse. It could not have happened without the support of the party officialdom. They also wanted independence from the revolutionary Yeltsin. They decided to make Ukraine independent to retain their positions. The third element was the consensus of Donetsk miners. Their support for the idea of independence was very important.”
According to him, Ukraine has succeeded as an independent state. We are not like Russia. But our greatest achievement is religious freedom.
"The attempts to governmentalize religion have failed here. Yanukovych's attempts to introduce Russian version of favoritism were unsuccessful. Religion ensures not only civil liberties, but also spiritual ones. In Ukraine it is separated from the state apparatus, but not from the human spirit. Maidan brought together representatives of various churches. This is the evidence that the religions, which had been previously at odds, could peacefully coexist in the country. Before independence it had not been the case,” Myroslav Marynovych believes.
As you know, on December 1, 1991, to confirm the Act of Independence adopted by Parliament in August, All-Ukrainian referendum was held. At the same time, the first election of the President of Ukraine also took place.
About 32 million citizens voted. Of these, 90% voted for independence. The first popularly president elected by public vote was Leonid Kravchuk.