During his working visit to Turkey on November 30, Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal visited the Patriarchal Church of St. George of the Ecumenical Orthodox Patriarchate, where he met with His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew.
The Head of Government thanked Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople for the invitation to take part in the festal liturgy on the occasion of the festive day - the Day of Remembrance of the Andrew the First-Called Apostle.
"The figure of the Andrew the First-Called Apostle for all Ukrainians and the Ukrainian Church, in particular, is as symbolic, historically and spiritually significant as for the Mother Church," said Denys Shmyhal.
The Prime Minister also thanked Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew for providing the Tomos of Autocephaly to the Orthodox Church of Ukraine and for supporting the process of its recognition by other local churches.
"The granting of the Tomos of autocephaly opened new perspectives for a more harmonious development of Christianity in the Ukrainian lands and a fuller satisfaction of the spiritual needs of believers belonging to the Byzantine Christianity," the Prime Minister said.
Denys Shmyhal stressed that the Orthodox Church of Ukraine is a reliable partner of state institutions in matters of social and humanitarian service. The state, for its part, supports the active social activity of the church and provides it with full social and economic support within legally justified and possible limits.
In a conversation with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, the Prime Minister stressed that an important factor in the development of religious processes in Ukraine was the functioning of the Stauropegia of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Kyiv.
In addition, the Prime Minister expressed hope that Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew would visit Ukraine at the invitation of the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
For his part, His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew announced that he would pay an official visit to Ukraine in 2021 on Independence Day.