By Kostas Onisenko
Looking back at the timeline of well-known historical events of Rus and the Christianization of the Slavs, Metropolitan Epifaniy of Kyiv and All Ukraine stated that, contrary to its claims, the Russian Orthodox Church was the daughter of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine.
The statements were made during a full-length interview by the head of the Church of Ukraine on the Ukrainian “Radio Liberty” in view of Easter.
“They (Russian Orthodox Church) do not have the right to set their historical background from the time of Volodymyr’s baptism. And that’s why it’s painful for them (…) However, it is the other way around; the Orthodox Church of Ukraine is the mother Church in relation to the Russian Orthodox Church,” said Epifaniy.
“We have old and deep roots. We have been moving in the direction of autocephaly for over 1,000 years, from these times when the glorious princes of Kyiv were trying to establish their independent Church.
Let us remember Yaroslav the Wise, it is more than 1000 years old. He wanted to put Hilarion of Kyiv at the head of the Church of Ukraine, the Metropolis of Kyiv. These efforts have been going on for centuries,” he said.
The Metropolitan also wondered where the center of Russian Orthodoxy was. He responded, “It was here! Where were the Russians baptized? Here on the Dnieper, in the hills of Kyiv. And for them (editor’s note: Moscow Patriarchate), it is very painful because they have to rewrite their history they appropriated from us during the last centuries of the Russian Empire.”