Photo from UNIAN

Leader of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU), Metropolitan of Kyiv and All Ukraine Epifaniy has called on all Orthodox Christians of Ukraine to unite around the Kyiv throne of a single local OCU.

"We have our own independent Orthodox Church of Ukraine, we pray in our native and understandable Ukrainian language. This is a useful thing on our way to the salvation," he said at the Christmas liturgy in St. Sophia Cathedral in Kyiv on January 7, which was the first service after providing a tomos of autocephaly of the OCU.

"On this magnificent Christmas Day, I wish that the Lord continue to help, assist, and do good to all of us. We'll continue to pray that the Lord give us unity, and that all Orthodox Christians of Ukraine unite around the throne of Kyiv into a single local autocephalous Orthodox Church of Ukraine," he said, as reported by an UNIAN correspondent.

Read alsoHistory is made: Bartholomew signs tomos of autocephaly for Orthodox Church of Ukraine

As was earlier reported, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I in his residence in Istanbul on January 5, 2019, signed the tomos, which proclaims the autocephaly of the newly formed Orthodox Church of Ukraine.

The tomos says that the Ecumenical Patriarchate recognizes a canonical, autocephalous, self-governing Orthodox Church within the limits of the politically formed territory of Ukraine.

The document also sets out the basic principles for the functioning of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine.

On January 7, the tomos was exhibited at St. Sophia's Cathedral in Kyiv.