In Moscow at a photo exhibition in the framework of the international festival “Faith and word” Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia Kirill expressed his admiration by the pilgrims of the all-Ukrainian cross procession held in Ukraine in July 2016, and recalled that took part in it, enduring the hardships of the way, provocations and prohibitions, performed the feat in the name of Christ and the salvation of souls.

All in all-Ukrainian religious processionheld from 3 to July 27, was attended by up to 100 thousand people.

“What a feat was that people accepted that, despite the provocations, challenges, prohibitions, dangers, and under the rain and under the heat came from Svyatogorsk and Pochaev Lavra in the mother of Russian cities, in Kiev, in the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra! A surprisingly calm face, no anger, exasperation”, – quotes “Interfax” the words of the Patriarch addressed to the participants of the event, which featured photos on the procession of the cross.

According to the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, in the procession, “no one advocated any political position”. “The procession expressed the very essence of the Church, which is inseparably connected with the exercise of the Christian commandments, living the gospel. And if there was resistance to this procession of the cross, then surely
here is the fight against monodentately of the darkness of this world (Satan, the Prince of this world, which spiritually blinds people and takes prisoner leading a sinful life. – Approx. Because who could in good mind and a clear conscience to oppose this mission of peace?” – said the Patriarch.

Ukrainian religious procession started on 3 July in the East of Svyatogorsk Lavra, and in the West – July 9 from Pochaev Lavra. Both processions went to Kiev, on July 28 celebrated the day of the Baptism of Kievan Rus.

A procession organized by the largest Church in Ukraine – the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Moscow Patriarchate (UOC-MP), was announced in the name of peace, love and prayers for Ukraine.

However, in Ukraine, many regarded this move as Pro-Russian propaganda and designed to destabilize the country.

In opposition to this event was organized by the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Kyiv Patriarchate (UOC-KP), which although not recognized in the Orthodox world, but in Ukraine, has about four thousand parishes (for comparison – the UOC-MP in Ukraine more than 12 thousand parishes).

The UOC-KP emerged in 1992 through the merger of the two branches of Ukrainian Orthodoxy that advocated independence from the Russian Orthodox Church: part of the representatives of the UOC of the Moscow Patriarchate and the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church (UAOC). In the Moscow Patriarchate it is considered a schismatic organization. And organized its Metropolitan Filaret by the Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church anathematized.

On the eve of the procession the press Secretary of the Kyiv Patriarchate Archbishop of the UOC KP yevstratii (Zoria) stated that the text of the special prayer for the participants of the course “even there is no word “Ukraine”. According to him, the text of the prayer, substituting the concept of “external aggression” to “internecine strife”, “inspire people the idea that the country supposedly there is a civil war”. “Religious procession in Kiev will not be for peace, and for the “Russian world”, – said the Archbishop.

Thus, the UOC-KP took the all-Ukrainian cross procession in the spirit of confrontation between the two churches, saying that he is clearly of a political nature, as organized by the Moscow Patriarchate, which has direct and good relations with the Kremlin, in response to the appeal of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew with a call to recognize the UOC-KP independentthat would be a step to the future recognition of the canonical status of the Kyivan Patriarchate.

In turn, many felt that the Ukrainian religious procession can be considered as the response of the Moscow Patriarchate in the tightening competition from the part of the Kyiv Patriarchate, and also an attempt to show his influence in Ukraine, including the Ecumenical Patriarch addressed by Rada, and later the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko, saying the desire to create a unified national Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

Patriarch Kirill compared the opponents of the all-Ukrainian cross procession with the minions of Satan 25.10.2016

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