The foundation stone of a new Roman Catholic church in Kiev, named Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, was laid May 1.
"The building of this church is a sign of the new presence of God in this land, a sign that demonstrates that the Church is alive and is developing, because it has a need for places of worship,” said Bishop Stanislav Shyrokoradiuk of the Diocese of Kyiv-Zhytomyr during the Mass marking the occasion.
“At the same, it's a sign of the religious freedom that is gradually spreading in Ukraine," he added.
This is the second Roman Catholic church to be built in the capital of Ukraine, following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. Currently, the only Roman Catholic church in Kiev is the cathedral. The Catholic population numbers four million, though it is estimated that only 5,000 attend Mass weekly.
Permits for new churches are difficult to obtain. The plans for four other churches have been awaiting a permit for years.