The Religious Information Service of Ukraine website reports today (February 23, 2011) that Orthodox Ukrainians in the United States have written a letter to President Viktor Yanukovych expressing their concerns over the current situation of church-state relations in Ukraine -- especially with respect to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Kyivan Patriarchate (UOC-KP).
In the letter, the Ukrainian-Americans write that they are concerned about UOC-KP Patriarch Filaret's recent statements that "in Ukraine, attempts are being made to realize a large-scale plan to destroy the Kyivan Patriarchate."
The letter also states that the UOC-KP is the only Ukrainian-based Orthodox structure caring for Ukrainians abroad. "The Moscow Patriarchate does not have, and cannot have, parishes abroad," the letter continues.
Finally, the letter asks President Yanukovych "to take the necessary steps to normalize church-state relations by meeting with the Holy Patriarch (of UOC-KP), and explaining the official position of the head of the Ukrainian state."
Interest in the status of the UOC-KP was sparked recently by a letter from its leader, Patriarch Filaret, saying that he has evidence that the Moscow Patriarchate is attempting to destroy the UOC-KP.