Lawyer UOC: We will challenge the actions of law enforcement

    

The Ukrainian Orthodox Church will challenge the actions of law enforcement officers who conduct searches and interrogations of clergy of the UOC. This was stated by the Chairman of the Legal Department of the UOC Archpriest Oleksandr bakhov, informs a portal “Orthodox life” with reference to Information and education Department of the UOC.

“We are closely monitoring the situation, law enforcement will continue to challenge and appeal to the international community,” said Archpriest Alexander bakhov.

As said the priest, “for the first time since independence of Ukraine there is a mass call for questioning the clergy and conducted searches in the diocesan offices, churches and homes of the clergy of the Orthodox Church.”

In law enforcement actions obvious bias, the Chairman of the Legal Department of the UOC.

“They are looking for religious hatred where there is none. At the same time, prefer to ignore the obvious facts of incitement to religious hatred that are heard from the lips of state officials, officials and media toward the Ukrainian Orthodox Church”, – said the Archpriest Alexander bakhov.

In his opinion, “the accusations against the clergy in inciting religious hatred are baseless and false”.

“Law enforcement is at the direction, in order to force the bishops of the Church to participate in the so-called unification Council”, – said the Archpriest Alexander bakhov.

Recall, 3 December 2018, the National police and the security Service of Ukraine conducted a number of searches in the Zhytomyr and Ovruch dioceses of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. The purpose of the search warrant – search and seizure of printed materials and media, whose content may incite religious hatred.

As reported in SBU, “according to the court orders law enforcement officers conducted eight searches in religious institutions, the places of residence of the individual members of these dioceses, and in the Kiev publishing house that produced printed products to order of the UOC-MP”. Investigative actions took place in the framework of the initiated criminal proceedings under article 161 of the Criminal code of Ukraine (Violation of equality of citizens depending on their racial, national belonging or attitude to religion). The police acted under the procedural leadership of regional Prosecutor’s office in pursuance of an order of the investigative Department of GUNP in Zhytomyr region.

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