Volyn Eparchy: Restricting worship is contrary to Constitution

Lutsk Cathedral of All the Saints of Volyn. Photo: volyn24.com

The restriction of the right to freedom of religion and worship is contrary to the Constitution, according to the Volyn Eparchy.

On April 2, 2020, the Legal Department of the Volyn Eparchy of the UOC published a comment regarding the legality of worship under quarantine in connection with the coronavirus, the press service of the diocese reports.

The Volyn Eparchy emphasizes that attempts to restrict worship are unconstitutional.

“In accordance with the current norms of Article 35 of the Constitution of Ukraine and Article 21 of the Law of Ukraine ‘On Freedom of Conscience and Religious Organizations’, clergy and parishioners exercise the constitutional right to freedom of worldview and religion, which is carried out in the form of daily and Sunday services in religious buildings and in the adjacent territory, rather than public places, and is not organized as a mass religious event prohibited by the Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine following the announcement of quarantine.

Restriction of the constitutional right to freedom of worldview and religion, provided for in Article 35 of the Constitution of Ukraine, which is implemented in the form of worship not in public places, is possible only as a result of martial law or a state of emergency, which is not introduced in Ukraine.

The diocese emphasizes that “orders, decrees and instructions of higher authorities, chiefs, officials and functionaries, as well as official, political, economic or other expediency” cannot serve as a basis for restricting by the police of the constitutional right to conduct divine services.

As reported by the UOJ, the Primate of the UOC blessed all dioceses to participate in the fight against the pandemic.

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