UOC turns to the Constitutional Court due to the law on renaming
The UOC is set to challenge the law, obliging the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in its name to indicate its affiliation with the ROC, in the Constitutional Court of Ukraine.
Since 1990, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church has been officially registered by the government authorities with this very name and will retain it in the future, the head of the Law Department of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Protopriest Alexander Bakhov, said in an interview with the UOC Information and Education Department.
“We intend to protect our rights by all legal means. We sent an appeal to the President of Ukraine – to use the veto, but, as we see, he did not use such a right. In addition, since there is a flagrant violation of constitutional norms and principles, we will initiate an appeal to the Constitutional Court,” said the head of the Law Dept, adding there will be broader understanding of human rights actions after the law enters into force and begins to be implemented.
The Protopriest stressed that any attempts by the state to force the Church to change its name are illegal and are regarded from the point of view of international law as interference in the internal affairs of a religious group. In addition, the decision to change the name of the Church can only be taken by its governing body, the Council of the UOC, therefore “even if this law enters into force, it will not mean that the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and its institutions automatically lose their names.”
As the UOJ reported, on December 22, President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko signed the anti-church bill No. 5309 “On Amendments to the Law of Ukraine ‘On Freedom of Conscience and Religious Organizations’” regarding the name of religious organizations that are incorporated into (are part of) a religious organization whose leadership center is located outside of Ukraine ... ".