UN expresses concern about oppression Ukrainian Orthodox Church


Eastern Europe


Photo EPA, Oleg Petrasyuk

The United Nations is concerned about the state discrimination of Ukraine against the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, which belongs to the Moscow Patriarchate. The Information and Education Department of the UOC said so on Monday.

At the UN meeting, a report was presented on the observance of human rights in Ukraine. The information included facts about the harassment of believers of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. Some Ukrainians and even some Ukrainian authorities see the Ukrainian Orthodox Church as dangerous because it falls under the Moscow Patriarchate, of which Patriarch Kirill is the head. Kirill is well-known for his pro-war statements. He, for example, compared Russian soldiers killed on the battlefield to martyrs and promised them heaven.

The UN Human Rights Council criticised the fact that local authorities of at least seven municipalities banned the activities of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Interfax reports. The report reads that these bans lasted for the duration of martial law but had no clear justification. The report covers the period from February 1 to July 30, 2022, Sphz writes. During these months, the UOC published several statements about the illegal actions of local governments against the Church on the official UOC websites.

According to the Council, the bans are an issue of concern as they violate international human rights standards. Furthermore, they are discriminatory because other religious organisations were still allowed to carry out their activities. “Therefore, such an unfavourable attitude towards the UOC can be considered discrimination based on religion or membership in a particular religious group.”


The UOC said in a statement that the “manifestations of hatred, aggression and acts of discrimination against religious organisations of the UOC and its believers are the subject of monitoring at international level and will continue to cause a reaction from the international community.”

The UOC stresses that its denomination is independent and has an administrative centre in Kyiv. “Our believers are citizens of Ukraine, and act within the limits of Ukrainian legislation and oppose enmity on religious or any other grounds.”



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