Deputy Head of MP DECR: We hope religious freedom to be restored in Ukraine

Archpriest Nikolai Balashov

Archpriest Nikolai Balashov called the decision of the Kiev District Administrative Court to halt the process of forced renaming of the Ukrainian Church a positive step.

The Russian Orthodox Church hopes that international norms regarding the maintenance of religious freedom will be restored in Ukraine. It was said by Archpriest Nikolai Balashov, deputy head of the Department for External Church Relations (DECR) of the Moscow Patriarchate on Tuesday, April 23, reports TASS.

Commenting on the decision of the Kiev District Administrative Court to satisfy the claim of the Kiev Metropolis against the Ministry of Culture of Ukraine and halt the process of forced renaming the UOC, Archpriest Nikolai Balashov noted that “this is certainly a positive step.”

“We will closely monitor the further consideration of this lawsuit, as well as the appeals of 49 MPs of the Verkhovna Rada, previously accepted for consideration by the Constitutional Court of Ukraine. We hope for the restoration of the action in Ukraine of internationally accepted norms relating to ensuring religious freedom,” said the representative of the Russian Orthodox Church.

As the UOJ reported, the Kiev District Administrative Court halted the process of involuntary renaming of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. According to the judges, amending the name of the UOC at the present time (before the court decision on the case) may lead to unjustified state intervention in the affairs of the religious organization.

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