18 May 2017

Today, from early in the morning, tens of thousands of believers of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church throughout the country have been praying for the admonition of the parliamentary members. In just the last few days, more than 300,000 signatures under appeals to people's deputies were collected. All because the session agenda for today, 18 May, included two anti-church, and one can say with certainty, anti-Ukrainian draft laws that could ultimately split the country and plunge it into a bloody confrontation on religious grounds. Their appearance on the agenda of the forthcoming plenary week caused a sheer storm of indignation both among the parishioners of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and representatives of the majority of other confessions in the country.

People began to unite in order to rebuff these undertakings of pseudo-patriots. Believers from all over the country gathered at the walls of the Verkhovna Rada. And they did it. Their opinion, their voices were heard.

Evening has come now. The parliamentary session is over. Anti-Ukrainian draft laws have not been put to the vote. Today, the disaster blew over. I am glad that very many colleagues declared their position about the rejection of these ungodly initiatives despite the "pressure from above". This applied to both the deputies from the opposition and MPs from the coalition. They supported the position of millions of believers. We thank them for their sound judgement.

At the same time, those who initiated this legislative infamy are not ready to back down and intend to make another attempt to put draft laws no. 4128 and no. 4511 to the vote in the parliament next week.

I do not tire of repeating that in the years of persecution, the Church always became strengthened, and all those who persecuted and blasphemed the Church have long since passed away. The same fate awaits for the current theomachists. The attack on our Church and our Faith is not yet over. Many more challenges await faithful members of our Church on the way to peace and overcoming the split. Today, the next small, but very important step towards this bright goal has been made.

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