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In reply to the letter of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia concerning the bills Nos. 4128 and 4511, which were prepared for consideration at the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine and which imply the implementation of discriminatory norms directed against the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate, His Beatitude Patriarch John X of the Great Antioch and All the East sent a message to His Holiness Patriarch Kirill. The message states that such legislations “aim at increasing the tension and changing the cultural identity of the whole Ukrainian society.” The full text is given below.

Your  Beatitude, Patriarch of Moscow and  All Russia,  beloved  brother and concelebrant in Christ the  Lord, Kyrios Kyrios Kirill. With great joy, we embrace Your Beloved person in the Lord and we say,

Among all the pain surrounding the hearts  of our people and church, and in the midst of all tragedies facing our  East, we address You in this  blessed  period  with  the  paschal greeting: Christ is risen.

Having received your fraternal letter N: 01/2608 dated on 16 May 2017, we would like to express our  deep  solidarity with  Your  Beatitude  and  with  all  our  brothers in  the Patriarchate of Moscow and all Russia.

We condemn  every step, which might affect the sovereignty of the Ukrainian people, and we condemn also firmly every step, which affect the independency, authenticity, integrity and freedom of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church. Such restrictive legislations are condemnable since they aim at increasing the tension and changing the cultural identity of  the  whole  Ukrainian  society.  We  take  the  opportunity to  reaffirm  our  position concerning our support to the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church recognized  by the Entire Orthodox Autocephalous churches.

It is an  opportunity to  appeal  for  peace  and  for  peacekeeping efforts.  It is also  an opportunity to draw the attention of the international organizations, governments and all citizens of the world to the danger of cultivating the culture of conflict and hatred instead of that of tolerance and peace.

Embracing  your  Beatitude  in  the  Lord, we  express our  deepest  solidarity with  your position  towards the new events  in Ukraine asking the Lord to strengthen you and  to grant us the peace.


With fraternal love and respect.

Balamand, 22 May 2017.

+John X

Patriarch of Antioch and all the East