12 March 2008, 17:15
Moscow, March 12, Interfax – Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko has congratulated the primate of the canonically unrecognized Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church Mefody Kudriakov on his birthday.
“May your wisdom and selfless ministry to God and Ukraine further contribute to spiritual strengthening of Ukrainian people,” the greeting address posted by the Ukrainian president’s press service reads.
Yushchenko wished the religious leader “good health, happiness, prosperity and God’s mercy.”
The UAOC was established in 1921 and received active support from the Bolsheviks who considered it an ally in their struggle against the Russian Orthodox Church.
Bandera’s Ukrainian Nationalists killed several hundreds of priests from the Moscow Patriarchate’s Ukrainian Orthodox Church headed by Metropolitan Alexy (Gromadsky) of Kiev and All Ukraine as they refused to join the UAOC during World War II. Many of UAOC leaders believed it helps spread the Union to the East in the 1990s.
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