Religious and Civil Leaders Pray at St. Sophia's on Ukrainian
01.09.2008, [08:00] // Church-state relations //
Kyiv Political leaders including Ukrainian President Viktor
Yushchenko and representatives of the All-Ukrainian Council of
Churches and Religious Organizations took part in the prayer for
Ukraine and the Ukrainian people that was held on 24 August 2008 in
St. Sophia's Cathedral in Kyiv on Ukrainian Independence Day. The
prayers began with a litany of intentions celebrated by ministers of
the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Kyivan Patriarchate.
Also participating in the ceremony were representatives of the
Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Moscow Patriarchate, Ukrainian
Autocephalous Orthodox Church, Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, Roman
Catholic Church, the Evangelical-Pentecostals, Armenian Apostolic
Church, the chief rabbi of Ukraine, and the Muslims of Ukraine.
During the speeches of the religious leaders, Yushchenko and his
family, the premier, head of Parliament, and other political leaders
lit candles before the cathedral's icon-screen.
During his speech later that day, Yushchenko said: "For the first
time in hundreds of years we have renewed the processes for the
spiritual uniting of our people and the creation of its national
[pomisna] church. We will travel this historic path with wisdom and
in harmony... This is already a reality. It is correct, for it renews
the whole fullness of our historical and national justice... No one
will ever decide for us in what language to communicate and in what
church to pray. No one will ever show us which way to choose."
Yushchenko in 2005 started the tradition of beginning the celebration
of Ukrainian Independence Day with a joint prayer service for Ukraine
and the Ukrainian people.