Verkhovna Rada is ready to vote for “antinational laws”

Briefly about scandalous bills 4511 and 4128 which are likely to be voted for on Thursday by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.

If we analyze their content, as well as take into account the repercussions they will inevitably cause in the social and religious life in Ukraine, we can safely say that these legislative initiatives are inherently "anti-clerical", "contrary to law" and, most importantly , "anti-people".

I will explain my idea.

First, these bills evoke a strong reaction and tough assessment on the part of many religious organizations of Ukraine. After all, in the event of their adoption, it will be very easy to take away any property from any denomination in our country.

In support of my words I will give the following comments.

Bishop Stanislav Shirokoradyuk of the Kharkov-Zaporozhye Diocese of the Roman Catholic Church:

"Concerning the bill of Yelenskiy # 4128. Anarchy is being created. It is clearly written here that everything is being done so that the Kyiv Patriarchate can take parishes of the Moscow Patriarchate to their homes. A corruption scheme is being created to allow parishes to move freely to the Kiev Patriarchate ... And why not to do it like it is done in the whole world: every religious community should be a legal entity! The church must be a legal entity! Such a law will protect the Church. I, God forbid, am not for the Moscow Patriarchate. But there should be such laws! You cannot remain silent here. There is a legal entity that has the right to own property, other rights being protected by the Constitution. But they want to do it here similarly to the Maidan. We'll vote, that's all! …Do you understand what it can drive to?! It's not good, it's not fair! The right is in the might – it's not a Christian way. The same raiding!”

"How can we apply such laws?! If the Church exists, it has its own laws. What status do they want to think up?! Ill fancy?! If we have problems with some Church, we have a problem not with the Church, but with the leaders! If someone breaks the law, there should be the legal actions to bring the offender to justice! If someone carries out an anti-Ukrainian policy, no matter who it might be, a politician or a priest, he must assume liability for that. Regardless of confession. What’s the point in building a cage for the Church with a special status? Who needs this law on a special status?! This is humiliation of the Church, and in general, speaks very poorly of Ukraine. It is not indicative of the state of democracy and rationalism. This a sign of underdevelopment. And this is proposed by the Parliamentarians, oddly enough – ... these are people who have to be able to think. "

Evgeny Ziskind, Executive Director of the Association of Jewish Religious Organizations of Ukraine, member of the Presidium of the Jewish Confederation of Ukraine:

"Bill No. 4128 involves such a notion as "self-identification, although it does not give a clear explanation of what is meant altogether. For example, in the Jewish tradition, only personal interest and certainty are not enough – there are number of rituals and customs to be observed. The doors of our temples are always open to everyone, but it does not mean that all those people who come to the Synagogue, will be called members of our religious community, and especially to determine its fate. So this bill opens the way to raiding, seizure of temple structures and lands only on the basis of the "self-identification" fact.

Secondly, bills 4511 and 4128 appear, to put it mildly, extremely contradictory from the point of view of existing legislative norms.

Noteworthy are relevant conclusions of the Commissioner for Human Rights, the Main Scientific and Expert Department of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine and the Verkhovna Rada Committee on Prevention and Combating Corruption.

I will give a few concrete examples.

"Implementing Bill 4128 would mean gross interference of the state in the internal affairs of religious organizations, contrary to the constitutional principle of separation of church and state (Article 35 of the Constitution) and lead to a significant restriction of religious freedom in Ukraine."

"The implementation of bill 4128 will lead to negative consequences for all religious organizations of Ukraine, as well as to escalating interfaith confrontation with negative consequences for public stability."

"Draft 4511 restricts the right to freedom of outlook and religion, contains signs of discrimination and separates Ukrainian citizens on religious grounds. Adoption of this bill may lead to new conflicts in the public and religious environment of the country, and also negatively affect the international image of Ukraine. "

Thirdly, the idea of adopting the corresponding draft laws does not have public support. It follows that some forces are pushing the deputies to adopt de facto "anti-popular" laws.

After all, according to a survey conducted by the "Ukrainian Social Services Service" company and the Institute of Sociology of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, 61% of Ukrainians believe that the church should be legally and in practice separated from the state and the authorities should not interfere in its affairs, 11.3% do not share this opinion, while 27.8% feel uncertain about it.

And only 8% of Ukrainians polled by the Ukrainiаn Sociology Service in November 2016 support the draft law on control over the activities of the UOC.

Against the backdrop of these indicative figures, I would like to speak up the following news: over just one day on May 14, in Odessa Eparchy of the UOC, more than 52 thousand signatures of the region's citizens against anti-church bills were collected.

The collection of signatures was prolonged until the evening of May 15, after which all the collected signatures are supposed to be handed over to Kiev to MPs of Ukraine who were elected according to the majority constituencies in Odessa region so that they protect the interests of their voters in the supreme legislative body of Ukraine and do not allow religious discrimination of millions of believing Ukrainians.

Similar developments are also taking place in other dioceses of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

Grass roots clearly demonstrate they have taken a stand against “antichurch” and “antinational” laws.

We are hoping that people’s representatives will realize it and will not go against the will of their electorate.


Korrespondent.net

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