In the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra today, the Primate His Beatitude Metropolitan Onufriy met with Peter Mandaville, Senior Advisor on Religion and Inclusive Societies of the United States Institute of Peace.
Peter Mandaville is a well-known researcher in the field of religion and politics, who has many years of experience working in scientific institutions, think tanks and the US government, where he deals with issues of religion and security, the UOC Information Center reports.
During the meeting, Peter Mandavil told the Head of the UOC about the principles of the Institute of Peace and keen interest in preserving understanding and building peace in Ukrainian society. In particular, Mr. Peter noted that political forces usually pay attention to the issue of religious peace only when religious confrontations are already escalating. Therefore, the Institute of Peace makes every effort to prevent religious conflicts.
His Beatitude Metropolitan Onufriy, in his answers to Mr. Peter's questions, informed him about the state of activity of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, the history and current situation around the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra. Having expressed his respect for all religious organizations, the Primate noted that he is rooting for the equality of all citizens of Ukraine before the Constitutional rights. After all, certain religious bills and resolutions concerning religious property or religious activities fundamentally violate the Constitutional principles of equality of both citizens and religious organizations.
"We are not asking for specific preferences from the lawmakers, we are only asking to observe the constitutional principles of a democratic state," emphasized His Beatitude Metropolitan Onufriy. "Religion teaches people to live in peace with God and each other, but often politically motivated hate speech distorts this and leads to misunderstanding and discord."