UN Forum raises the issue of anti-church law on renaming UOC

UN Forum on Minority Issues. Photo: NGO “Public Advocacy”

The law on renaming the UOC violates the right of believers to canonical identity, which is part of the right to freedom of religion, Oleg Denisov said at the UN Forum.

At the 12th Forum on Minority Issues, which took place on November 28-29 in the large conference room of the Human Rights Council at the UN headquarters, the head of the NGO “Public Advocacy” Oleg Denisov raised the topic of the law on forced renaming of the UOC adopted in Ukraine, reports the NGO website.

“In accordance with the article of the Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities, Persons belonging to national or ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities have the right to enjoy their own culture, to profess and practise their own religion, and to use their own language, in private and in public, freely and without interference or any form of discrimination,” says the NGO statement.

The session, opened by the chairman of the UN Human Rights Council Coly Seck, was attended by UN Special Rapporteur on Minority Rights Michelle Bachelet, OSCE High Commissioner for National Minorities Lamberto Zannier, members of diplomatic missions of UN member states and international organizations.

“We are extremely concerned about the adoption in Ukraine of a law obliging religious organizations of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church to change their name and include information on their affiliation with the religious centre in the Russian Federation,” Oleg Denisov, head of the NGO “Public Advocacy”, said during the forum. “This law violates the right of believers to canonical identity, that is, the right to independently determine the name of their communities in accordance with prevailing historical, cultural and religious traditions. Such an identity is part of the right to freedom of religion and is subject to international protection. Our organization will make every effort to protect this right.”

As reported earlier, as a result of appeals of the NGO “Public Advocacy”, the UN Human Rights Committee blocked the eviction of the UOC religious community in Ivano-Frankovsk.

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