Leaders of Ukrainian denominations met with Prime Minister and members of Parliament of Canada

Leaders and the authorized representatives of Ukrainian Churches and Religious Organizations met with the Prime Minister of Canada Stephen Harper on April 24, reports the Institute for Religious Freedom.

The head of the Government of Canada congratulated the delegation of Ukrainian Council of Churches and religious organizations and noted its important mission aimed at promotion of inter-religious harmony.

This meeting was preceded by another historic event – the House of Commons of the Parliament of Canada has unanimously and with a great ovation adopted a statement about reverence for brave deeds of Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky, who during the Second World War saved from the death hundreds of Jewish children, regardless of their origin and religion.

The delegation of Ukrainian Council of Churches and religious organizations witnessed the adoption of this document as it was announced during the meeting by the Speaker of the Parliament of Canada. In response, Canadian parliamentarians welcomed the leaders of Ukrainian denominations with standing ovation, expressing gratitude for the example of interdenominational harmony and peace.

After getting acquainted with the work of the Parliament of Canada the UCCRO delegation held an official dinner with several members of parliament. The subject of discussion was the Canadian-Ukrainian relations in the humanitarian sphere and connection between Ukrainian state and foreign Ukrainians.

Later in the evening there was a formal reception at the Fairmont Chateau Laurier Hotel with the participation of the UCCRO delegation, Canadian Senators Raynell Andreychuk and Linda Frum, chairman of the Parliamentary Committee for National Security James Bezan, parliamentarians Mark Adler, Vladislav Leeson and others.

During the reception, the Canadian Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Jason Kenney made a speech in reverence of Metropolitan Sheptytsky’s Heritage. He has also expressed his gratitude to the delegation of UCCRO and announced the intention of the Government of Canada to support the Ukrainian-Jewish Encounter Initiative.

The day before leaders of Ukrainian denominations have held several meetings in Toronto.

The delegation of the Ukrainian Council of Churches and religious organizations now visits Canada and the United States within the framework of the program in honor of Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky’s Heritage (from 22 till 29 April). 

Photoreport by Maksym Vasin, translation by Svitlana Sydorenko, IRF

 © 2012 The Institute for Religious Freedom Kyiv, Ukraine