Ukrainian State Service: Humiliating believers of Moscow Patriarchate is wrong


Eastern Europe


Ukrainian believers praying in church. Photo EPA, Martin Divisek

It is unacceptable to discriminate against Ukrainian citizens just for belonging to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, which belongs to the Moscow Patriarchate. That is the opinion of the Ukrainian State Service.

Recent research showed that most of the Ukrainian population believes that the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, which is connected to Moscow, collaborates with the Russian invaders. That was reported earlier by CNE.news. However, the Ukrainian State Service for Ethnopolitics and Freedom of Conscience now says in a statement that for the most part, the UOC collects humanitarian aid, fights on the front lines for the Ukrainian army and prays for the defenders, Spzh writes. With the statement, the State Service responded to accusations by the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, which believed that the Ukrainian Orthodox Church supported the Russians.

“We strongly condemn cases of collaboration or the promotion of hostile propaganda”, the State Service writes. Yet, it adds that it is unacceptable to accuse all members of a large community of collaboration “when even less than 1 per cent of its members are subject to suspicion.” According to the State Service, it is not “permissible to humiliate the citizens of Ukraine, proclaim them enemies through their church identity, ethnic identity or language. Even if their church has a complex history and a difficult present.”

Letter to grandfather

Several Ukrainians still favour banning the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and its activities. That was shown by the fact that the mayor of Poltava, Oleksandr Mamai, had to remove a draft law from the agenda of a city council meeting that proposed this on October 5, as reported by Poltava.

Mamai explained his decision to remove the draft by pointing out that political deputies have no “moral right to associate the Church with politics.” Furthermore, he added that the city council does not have the power to abolish a church denomination. “It would legally be a letter to grandfather in the village”, he said. “It is a shame that certain deputies who pedal this issue not only divide the state and our city but also do not know certain legal points.”



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