Politologist on the statements of Bohdan: Support for OCU will remain

Elena Bogdan. Photo: a screenshot of the video on the channel "The Open Orthodox University of St. Sophia the Wise" on YouTube

Bohdan’s words about involving SBU in the “transfers” of communities show either a lack of understanding or a desire to cover up the mercantile struggle, Bortnik noted.

Support for the OCU by the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports of Ukraine will continue, said Ruslan Bortnik, a political scientist, commenting on the recent statements by the winner of the contest for the post of head of the State Service for Ethnic Policy and Freedom of Conscience, sociologist Elena Bohdan. Earlier, Bohdan in an interview with RISU said that the SBU and the police should help those communities that have changed their jurisdiction.

“Still, this is not a matter of transfer. This is not a problem, let the communities change affiliation. Nobody holds them, don’t they? This is a question of who will control the church property,” the expert commented on the words of the candidate for the post of head of the new State Service.

Bortnik noted that the UOC does not impede transfers and does not try to hold anyone by force.

“If a person wants to go, he/she calmly leaves one church and begins to go to another. Near or not, he just starts going to another church. The UOC does not resist the transfer of communities, it is not against the transfer of people if they want to go to another church. Nobody forcibly holds anyone,” he said.

The political scientist explained that in fact we are talking about attempts to redistribute church property.

“It is impossible for the part of people who abandon the community to take the temple with them. This is not a matter of religious freedom but a matter of purely material nature, a matter of the struggle for symbolic places,” Bortnik emphasized.

Speaking about the involvement of the SBU and the police in the “transfers” of the communities, Bohdan either does not understand the essence of the issue or is not telling the truth, the expert believes.

“She either does not understand this or isn’t telling the truth, trying to cover up the absolutely mercantile struggle and seizures of the religious property with beautiful words. The Borodiansky Ministry will work in line with Borodiansky. Due to the fact that Borodiansky supports this whole topic, state support for the creation and functioning of the OCU will continue,” the expert concluded.

Earlier, Bohdan stated that the SBU and law enforcement officials should help communities that changed jurisdiction. She also said that one of the 4 main areas of work of the State Service for Ethnic Policy and Freedom of Conscience will be monitoring “to help the ministry form its policy”.

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