His Beatitude Onuphry appeals to UN due to discrimination against UOC

30 January 15:34
UN Headquarters. Photo: rbc UN Headquarters. Photo: rbc

The Primate sent an appeal to the leadership of the UN in connection with the discrimination of the rights of citizens of Ukraine on religious grounds.

The Primate of the UOC, His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kyiv and All Ukraine, sent an appeal to the leadership of the United Nations, in which he asked to pay attention to the gross violation of the right to freedom of conscience and religion in Ukraine, which consists in the violation of the rights and discrimination of Orthodox Christians. This was reported by the Information and Educational Department of the UOC.

In the document, His Beatitude drew attention to the independent status of the UOC and to the fact that the Church, together with millions of Ukrainians of other faiths, from the first days of the war, began to protect the integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine, provides large-scale assistance to all those affected by the war, and many believers of the UOC defend their homeland with weapons in their hands.

The UN leadership was informed about anti-church bills (No. 8221, No. 8262, No. 8371, No. 7403, No. 8012), the application of personal sanctions against religious figures of the UOC, as well as the illegal activities of local governments.

The UOC also drew attention to international legal acts regulating the human right to freedom of religion and recalled that since the beginning of independence, the Ukrainian state has tried to incorporate the regulations regarding freedom of religion, enunciated in international legal acts, into national legislation. In particular, the appeal refers to the Basic Law of the State – the Constitution of Ukraine and the Law of Ukraine "On Freedom of Conscience and Religious Organizations".

“The link between peace and human rights is inextricable. Human rights and the rule of law are a matter of universal security – as important as military potential or economic stability,” the UOC noted.

In conclusion, the appeal noted that at a recent meeting of the UN Security Council, the issue of the situation that has evolved around the Ukrainian Orthodox Church was discussed, but it was done without the participation of the UOC itself.

“Given the gravity of the situation, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church is ready to send its representative to convey relevant and reliable information to the international community firsthand,” the document says.

“We hope that our voice will be heard, and citizens of Ukraine who are faithful to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC) will receive the necessary support and protection at the international level. We hope that all necessary measures, aimed at countering incitement of religious enmity and discrimination against believing citizens of Ukraine and religious organizations of the UOC, will be taken in good time. Finally, we hope that recommendations on the protection of religious freedoms will be developed and forwarded to the Government of Ukraine,” the statement of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church sums up.

Earlier, the UOJ reported that the UN was concerned about the bills against the UOC.

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