Yulia Tymoshenko Wins Highest Award of Jerusalem Orthodox Church


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JERUSALEM - Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko visited the sacred places of Jerusalem last weekend. Tymoshenko came to Jerusalem on a private visit on October 17, 2009. The prime minister prayed at the Weeping Wall. On Sunday, October 18, Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilus III presented to Prime Minister of Ukraine Yulia Tymoshenko the highest award of the Jerusalem Orthodox Church, the Order of the Holy Sepulchre. This award is given to heads of churches and of states for outstanding services to the Orthodox Church.

"We know your positive role in the political and church spheres, celebrate your achievements in the unification of churches, and prominent role in combating anti-Semitism," said Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilus III when handing the order to Yulia Tymoshenko.

Gratefully accepting the award, Tymoshenko said that it is an extremely high award for Ukraine and Ukraine's faithful who desire peace and tranquillity.

Yulia Tymoshenko told the patriarch that before the difficult challenge, which is the presidential election, she decided to visit the holy places and pray that God will give Ukraine and Ukrainian people peace and the unification of churches so that Ukraine can be a united nation.

Besides, Tymoshenko has invited the patriarch of Jerusalem to visit Ukraine soon. She expressed that this will be an historic event for our country. Theophilus III graciously accepted the invitation of the Ukrainian prime minister.

During the meeting, on request of Tymoshenko, the patriarch of Jerusalem blessed Ukraine and the Ukrainian people for happiness and prosperity. In turn, the chairman of the Ukrainian government has expressed hope that Ukraine and the Ukrainian people will go through all tests with dignity.

In addition, Tymoshenko visited the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Hethsymany, the grave of the Holy Virgin Mary, and the place where Jesus Christ was baptized in Jordan.;32335/