UOC cleric: How can target of investigation Yurash participate in contest?

Претендент на пост главы Государственной службы по этнополитике и свободе совести Андрей Юраш. Фото: ukrinform.ua

Met. Clement believes the participation of Andrei Yurash, a defendant in a criminal case, in the contest for the head of the state service spoils the image of Ukraine.

On January 29, 2020, the head of the UOC Information and Education Department, Metropolitan Clement of Nezhin and Priluki, commented on the fact of the participation of Andrei Yurash, a defendant in criminal proceedings, in the competition for the post of head of the State Service for Ethnic Policy and Freedom of Conscience, reports the "Pravblog" Telegram channel. 

Assessing the activities of Andrei Yurash as the head of the Department for Religions at the Ministry of Culture, the bishop noted that the official “shamelessly voiced calls aimed at humiliating the believers of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. There are many criminal cases related to the physical beating of believers. The Ministry of Culture and the department, which is supposed to take care of the observance of the rights of believers, did absolutely nothing to help believers.”

In addition, according to Metropolitan Clement, “this department blocked the possibility of registering the UOC communities that were constantly created in our Church. Despite the fact that such actions were appealed in court, litigation lasts for years and the Ministry of Culture continues its policy.”

Vladyka also expressed bewilderment that a person against whom a criminal case was opened claims to be a high-ranking government official. This negatively affects the image of our country, he explained.

“There is a very eloquent fact. As far as I know, a criminal case was initiated against the head of the State Department for Religions Andrei Yurash. I do not know how this criminal proceeding is being investigated today, but this fact has been widely covered. And it surprises me that this person continues to take part in contests to fill a similar position with such a reputation and with such a case of all conflicts and violations that are simply shameful and spoil not only the religious and confessional situation in the country but have an extremely negative impact on the image of Ukraine in the world,” Met. Clement noted.

He also recalled: “We talk a lot about Ukraine’s accession to the EU and other international institutions. But everyone forgets that one of the provisions that condition Ukraine’s entry into these international organizations is, firstly, the restitution of church property. That is, the eradication of all those consequences of the totalitarian regime that were associated with the violation of the rights of the Church. And secondly, it is the stabilization of all religious issues. Because, if there is confessional instability in Ukraine, this is a source of tension both in political and other aspects. I think that someone in our country, some politicians, benefit from fueling this source of instability and earn political points."

As reported by the UOJ, on December 24, 2019, the police questioned Andrei Yurash, head of the Department for Religions at the Ministry of Culture of Ukraine, in the case of abuse of office and participation in fabricating a criminal case against the cleric of the UOC Archpriest Viktor Zemlianoy.

As reported, according to the procedure, the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports of Ukraine Vladimir Borodiansky must determine the main candidate for the post of head of the State Service for Ethnic Policy and Freedom of Conscience through an interview.

On January 1, 2020, the next stage of the second competition for the post of head of the State Service for Ethnic Policy and Freedom of Conscience was completed at the National Agency for Civil Service of Ukraine. Andrei Yurash was one of the four finalists of the competition.


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