Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew met with the Speaker of the Lithuanian Parliament (Seimas) Viktorija Nielsen during his visit to the country.
The president of the Seimas thanked the Patriarch for the restoration of historical justice and the five priests who had been deposed by the Patriarchate of Moscow.
From the 13th century until 1686, the Orthodox living in the territory of Lithuania considered Constantinople as the Mother Church from which Orthodoxy came to our country. It was part of the Metropolis of Kyiv under the Ecumenical Patriarch. And only later passed to the Patriarchate of Moscow,” Nielsen said.
At the meeting, the head of parliament said Vilnius had always been famous as a city of religious freedom and tolerance, where Roman Catholics, Orthodox Christians, Lutherans, Jews, Uniates, and Muslims lived together.
“In Vilnius the word of God was spread with love, not with the sword. It is therefore absolutely unacceptable for us, the inhabitants of the city and the descendants of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, when God covers the imperialist aspirations of the Kremlin regime.
I told His All-Holiness that in this light we also see the situation of Orthodox Christians in Lithuania,” Nielsen said.