President Petro Poroshenko noted in his address to Ukrainians that the country celebrated Christmas according to the Gregorian calendar as a state holiday for the first time - together with the majority of the whole Christian world, together with Europe. At the same time, the President emphasizes that in no way does anyone encroach upon the longstanding good tradition of celebrating Christmas on January 7.
“To choose a calendar is a personal right of everyone, and the state's task is to guarantee such a right and to give a choice. Personally, I decided to celebrate twice. Therefore, today I join your solemn action," Petro Poroshenko said. He added: "In two weeks, Ukrainians will sing carols again and rejoice at the birth of the Savior of the world. As St. Paul wrote, we, Christians, "are one body, one spirit, one Lord, one faith and one baptism".
"Ukraine is unique in its tolerance and respect for religious feelings. We are Orthodox, Greek Catholics, Roman Catholics. We are a whole variety of Protestant churches. We are Muslims and Jews. We are all Ukrainians," Petro Poroshenko noted.
The President reminds that this year Ukraine marked the 500th anniversary of the beginning of the Reformation, which largely determined the modern face of civilization. "The Reformation was of great significance for Ukraine. It contributed to the establishment of private property institutions, the development of the process of national renaissance. It gave a powerful impetus to education, science, culture and religious life," the Head of State remarked. According to him, nowadays Protestant churches are playing an increasingly important role in Ukrainian spiritual and religious life, as they are active in preaching, enlightening, charitable activities. "I highly appreciate their contribution to the spread of God's word, to the strengthening of the authority of the Bible as an inexhaustible source of wisdom and morality," the President added.
The President wished that spiritual work and sincere prayers of Ukrainians continued to establish imperishable Christian values.
"May our Lord always be with us and our beloved country! Warm Christmas, happy holidays and long life to all of you! Christ is born!” the Head of State noted.