Hierarch of UOC: Renaming UOC is similar to renaming Ukraine
Archbishop Nikolai (Pochtovy) spoke about what awaits the believers if the government passes a law on renaming the UOC.
The Ukrainian Orthodox Church appeared earlier than the state, and depriving the UOC of its name is like depriving Ukraine of its name, noted the vicar of the Kyiv Metropolis, Archbishop Nikolai (Pochtovy) of Vasylkiv, in an interview with the First Cossack channel.
Taking the name away from the Church is nonsense, Vladyka Nikolai is sure.
“No one [legally] can abolish the name that is appropriated within the law, it is simply impossible,” he stressed. “Taking away the name is lawlessness per se whatever law may be adopted; it will be a priori lawless. It is possible to pass a law on renaming the State of Ukraine in the same way.”
According to the hierarch, the anti-church laws "are aimed at pushing the parishes of the canonical Church into the OCU."
Renaming the UOC will entail infringement of the rights of believers, taxation, increase in tariffs for utilities, etc., the bishop is sure. In addition, the communities of the UOC will not be able to re-register their statutes, because local authorities will block registration, forcing them to transfer to the OCU.
"And there will be one simple ‘way out’: Here is the OCU – go there. Nobody stops you, you will have normal conditions for life, for work," the hierarch predicts the actions of the authorities.
“These laws are aimed at pushing the parishes of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church into the OCU by force and imposing such restrictions on us that we will cease to exist otherwise,” Archbishop Nikolai emphasized.
As reported by the UOJ, the law on renaming against the UOC was adopted while Poroshenko was in power in 2018. However, in the new bill, MPs from the Servant of the People propose to close religious organizations "for treason".