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25.07.2006

Ukrainian spiritual leaders call on politicians not to incite inter-ethnic enmity

   

The Leaders of the twelve largest religious organizations in Ukraine have appealed to state, political and public figures to not turn language into an issue of confrontation, and to not incite inter-ethnic enmity and separatism within the country.

“Language is God’s gift to us. Its task is to unite, and not divide people, to help people understand each other, and not breed animosity. We therefore call on state, political and public figures at all levels to observe the Constitution and not turn language into an issue of confrontation, spreading enmity and hatred over resolving it, and to remember their responsibility for the consequences of their decisions and actions not only before the people, but before God”, the appeal reads.

The document carries the reminder that the Constitution of Ukraine declares Ukrainian to be the state language, and also binds the state to promote the free development, use and protection of Russian, and other languages of national minorities of Ukraine.

The leaders of the religious organizations also emphasised that separatism “is a threat to the independence and sovereignty of our state”. ”We call on all the Ukrainian people without division between east and west, the centre, north and south, since are we not all equally people, children of the same Heavenly Father, to mutual understanding, cooperation, consensus, unity and consolidation in the development of our common home – Ukraine”.

The appeal was signed by the Head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (the Moscow Patriarchate) Metropolitan Volodymyr, the Head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (the Kyiv Patriarchate) Patriarch Filaret, the Supreme Arch-Bishop of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church Lyubomyr Huzar, the Deputy Head of the Conference of Roman Catholic Bishops of Ukraine Markiyan Trokymyak, the President of the All-Ukrainian Union of Associations of Evangelical Baptist Christians Viacheslav Nesteryk.  It was also signed by Bishop of the Church of Christians of the Evangelical Faith of Ukraine Mykhailo Panochko, the Elder Bishop of the Ukrainian Christian Evangelical Church Leonid Padun, Bishop of the Lutheran Church Viacheslav Horpynchyk, Elder Presbyter of the Union of Free Churches of the Christian Evangelical faith in Ukraine Vasyl Raichynets, the President of the Ukrainian Bible Society Anatoly Hlukhivsky, the Muftee of the Spiritual Directorate of Muslims of the Crimea Ablayev-Yemirali and the Chief Rabbi of the city of Kyiv and of Ukraine, the Leader of the Association of Jewish Religious Organizations of Ukraine Jakub Dove Bleikh.

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