UOC comments on ombudsman’s words about religious freedom in Ukraine
Khmelnytskyi Eparchy officials stated that the ombudsman is presenting desired as actual.
The Legal Department of the UOC of the Khmelnytskyi Eparchy commented on the statement by the Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights, Dmytro Lubinets, regarding the state of religious freedom in Ukraine.
The comment was published on the Telegram channel of the Khmelnytskyi Eparchy.
On May 5, 2023, the Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights, Dmytro Lubinets, published a post on the state of religious freedom in Ukraine on his Telegram channel.
The ombudsman noted that Ukraine is open and tolerant to all religions, and the rights of believers are protected by law.
The Legal Department added that during the monitoring of the situation, the commissioner visited territorial, not religious communities, as he himself admitted, so no significant violations or conflicts were recorded during the monitoring visits.
"Unfortunately, Dmytro Lubinets' review of the current religious situation, both in Ukraine as a whole and in the Khmelnytskyi region in particular, resembles the presentation of the desired as actual. In fact, discrimination against Orthodox believers in Ukraine and religious organizations of the UOC continues," the eparchy representatives added.
"After such 'transfers', which often involve the use of batons and grinders for their implementation, the temples often remain empty or sealed, as was the case, including on the biggest Christian feast, Easter. The words of the authorized person about the absence of human rights violations during transfers to the OCU also seem strange," the Legal Department noted.
The eparchy reported that parishioners of seized churches in Khmelnytskyi, due to the violation of their rights, turned to the extraordinary and plenipotentiary ambassadors of European countries, as well as to the coordinator of the UN system in Ukraine and the ambassador of the European Union Representation in Ukraine. Moreover, in the Khmelnytskyi region, more than 30 cases of human rights violations were recorded while local law enforcement agencies were inactive.
"Obvious facts that indicate a real, not imaginary, state of religious freedom in Ukraine may suggest that Mr. Dmytro Lubinets, who has been the Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights since July 1, 2022, and before that was an MP from the Bloc of Petro Poroshenko, deliberately conceals the problems and violations of believers' rights in order to create the appearance of legality in the religious sphere of Ukraine in the eyes of Ukrainian society and the international community," the eparchy noted.
"The words about the right of some parishioners who disagree with the change of subordination to create a new religious community also sound cynical, as currently, state registration authorities refuse to register new statutes of the religious organisations of the UOC. In addition, it is unclear why a religious community should be recreated if it did not make a decision to transfer and wishes to remain in the UOC," the Legal Department added.
"We hope that true objectivity and the supremacy of law will prevail over any political views and preferences in the work of human rights institutions, in particular, the Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights," concluded the Khmelnytskyi Eparchy.
As previously reported, radicals seizeв the UOC cathedral in Khmelnytskyi.