Thousands of nationalists demonstrated in Kiev on the occasion of the National Day of Defenders of Ukraine, which coincided with the recognition of the Patriarchate of Constantinople by an independent Ukrainian church from Moscow, reports AP.
Participants in the rally, marched in the afternoon, chanting in the streets of Kiev "Glory to Ukraine" and hoisting the Ukrainian flags and emblems of the national movement in red and black colors.
Earlier, thousands of faithful Ukrainians, including Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, took part in an official prayer in a square in central Kiev.
The prayer was headed by the Ukrainian Patriarch Villarit, who was reinstated Thursday by the Patriarchate of Constantinople after being shot by the Russian Orthodox Church.
The Patriarchate of Constantinople on Thursday took the historic decision to recognize in Ukraine a church independent of the religious tutelage of Moscow.
The Russian orthodox Church has said in fear of the actions, strength, or justice, aimed at removing him from the control of churches and monasteries that are affiliated with it in Ukraine. And some priests have called on their faithful to be ready to defend their sanctuaries.
In this context, the spokesperson for the Kremlin, Dmitri Peskov warned Friday that Russia would “defend the interests of the orthodox” in the case of religious unrest in Ukraine.
The Ukrainian authorities have wanted reassuring, saying they want to avoid a “religious war” and that the government would respect the choice of parishes that decide to remain loyal to the Patriarchate of Moscow.