No more Russian church services in Ukrainian province


Eastern Europe


The Ukrainian government has cracked down on the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate since the full-scale invasion. Photo EPA, Oleg Petrasyuk

The western Ukrainian Zakarpattia Oblast wants to ban all churches related to Moscow. The United Nations are concerned.

The regional parliament in the oblast, located in Uzhhorod, wants to ban all activities of organisations connected to Russia to strengthen national security. They passed a resolution calling for this on Thursday. The Ukrainian Orthodox Church seems to be one of the key targets of this resolution.

In a Facebook post, the Regional Council published the resolution. Accompanying the post was a picture of Patriarch Kirill of Russia, along with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The image had been edited with a large red cross over the twosome.

According to the Ukrainian news website Ukrinform, the majority of churches, 623, in the Zakarpattia Oblast belong to the Russian church. But since the full-scale invasion of Ukraine by Russian forces on February 24th, 2022, none of the churches has applied to transfer to the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, which declared its independence from Moscow in 2018.


The actions of the Ukrainian government against the Russian churches in Ukraine are a cause of concern for the United Nations. At the end of March, a report on the human rights from the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said that "official measures directed against the UOC could be discriminatory."



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