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On 7 September 2018, a delegation of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate, led by Metropolitan Luka of Zaporozhye and Melitopol, met with His Beatitude Patriarch Theophilos III of the Holy City of Jerusalem and All Palestine.

His Beatitude welcomed the pilgrims to the Holy Land.

Metropolitan Luka cordially thanked His Beatitude Patriarch Theophilos for the meeting and conveyed to him greetings from the Primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, His Beatitude Metropolitan Onufry of Kiev and All Ukraine.

“For us, the Ukrainians, our Primate is the unbreakable wall, behind which we feel secure,” the hierarch said, in particular, “It grieves us to see what is going on in our homeland. The Zaporozhye Region borders on the areas where the blood of our compatriots is being shed now. Our Lord Jesus Christ blessed with His feet the land wherein the Church of Jerusalem carries out its ministry. This is the Church, from which the apostles came to preach Christ in every corner of the earth. You are the guardians of the Holy Sepulchre and the holy sties, performing this service with great honour and dignity for thousands of years. We ask you to pray for our homeland, so that the Lord may bring to reason our politicians, for it is in their power to put an end to the fratricidal war.”

As Patriarch Theophilos noted, the recent developments pertaining to the church life in Ukraine are manifestations of the globalization process whose “main purpose is to destroy the Orthodox Church.”

“The globalization is trying to stretch its tentacles and reach the body of the Church in order to destroy it. It is happening all over the world, including in Ukraine. Politicians’ interference in the affairs of the Church are sings of such a process,” His Beatitude said and added that the Orthodox peoples today are being subject to hard ordeals, but must not lose hope.

“We are praying for the people of Ukraine,” Patriarch Theophilos said, the official website of the UOC Zaporozhye diocese reports.

DECR Communication Service