Information and educational Department of UOC-MP reported earlier that today, 20 December 2018, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine adopted the bill No. 5309 “On freedom of conscience and religious organizations” regarding the names of religious organizations (associations), which are included in the structure (are part) religious organizations (enterprises), leadership (control) of which is located outside of Ukraine in the state, the law recognized that carried out military aggression against Ukraine and/or temporarily occupied territory of Ukraine”. In this regard, the published Statement of the Legal Department of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
This law obliges religious organizations that directly or as a part of religious organizations included in the structure of religious organizations or associations, leadership (management) of which is located outside of Ukraine in the state, the law recognized as such, which has carried out military aggression against Ukraine and the temporarily occupied territory of Ukraine, in its full name, as specified in its Charter, to reflect the belonging to a religious organization or Association outside of Ukraine, in which it is included (which it is), by requiring the playback in your full name share name is religious organizations (enterprises) with the possible addition of the words “Ukraine” and/or indicate their place in the structure of foreign religious organizations.
In this connection, we state that the adopted today bill No. 5309 violates the right to freedom of religion and discriminary on religious grounds millions of believing citizens of Ukraine who belong to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, and is inconsistent with the Constitution of Ukraine, the universal Declaration of human rights and the Convention on the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms.
Ukraine is a secular state, making it impossible to establish on the legislative level, advantages or limitations for different religious associations. And forcing the Ukrainian Orthodox Church to change their name is nothing more than interference in its activities, which can lead to unpredictable consequences in society.
As we can see, in this bill we are not talking about the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, but from public statements, aware of the intention to apply it to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in favor of the newly formed religious organisation “the Orthodox Church of Ukraine”, which wants to pick up this title. Once again emphasize that the Ukrainian Orthodox Church is a Church of the Ukrainian people based the Cathedral of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and registered in accordance with Ukrainian legislation, and its center is located in Kiev.
We believe this law is unconstitutional and intend to defend their rights by all legitimate means. Appeal to the President of Ukraine to apply to this law the right of veto.