UOC hierarch meets with UN Special Rapporteur

UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion and belief Ahmed Shaheed and the head of the UOC Representative Office to European International Organizations Bishop Victor (Kotsaba) of Baryshevka

Bishop Victor took part in the 40th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.

On March 8, 2019, during a visit to the 40th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, the head of the UOC Representative Office to European International Organizations Bishop Victor (Kotsaba) of Baryshevka met with the UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion and belief Ahmed Shaheed, reports the UOC Information and Education Department.

The conversation was attended by the curator of the Eastern European human rights group, Protopriest Meladin Mitrovic, and Oleg Denisov, the chairman of the NGO Public Advocacy.

Bishop Victor told the UN representative about the systematic gross violation of the rights of UOC believers.

Vladyka Victor informed Ahmed Shaheed that representatives of the UOC and human rights organizations would continue to appeal to the international human rights system. In accordance with international conventions, the UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion and belief is authorized to receive and consider individual and collective complaints of violations of human rights in the religious sphere and to respond to them under international law.

According to representatives of human rights organizations, the situation of the canonical Orthodox Church in Ukraine remains consistently difficult, which is facilitated by the obviously illegal discriminatory administrative pressure from representatives of the government.

The parties agreed on further communication.

During the 40th session of the UN Human Rights Council, the head of the presidency of the canonical Church spoke with other representatives of international human rights organizations.

On February 27, 2019, Bishop Victor had a meeting at the Council of Europe in Strasbourg. He told European officials about the thousand-year history and the current state of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, which is currently experiencing difficult times of trial and reported on numerous facts of systematic violations of the rights of UOC believers.

On February 28, 2019, the UOC hierarch told European Commissioner Dunja Mijatovic about the facts of pressure and discrimination against the clergy and believers of the UOC. He showed the Commissioner for Human Rights a live broadcast from Lutsk, where at that time the eparchial bishops, the clergy and believers of the two Volyn eparchies were doing the prayer standing at the walls of the regional state administration, and explained that in this way the parishioners of the UOC were forced to protect their right to freedom of religion today. As it turned out, Dunja Mijatovic already knew about some cases of oppression of Orthodox Ukrainians.

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