UOC: Ukraine doesn't comply with UN no-privilege-for-OCU recommendations

01 June 2021 00:13
The UOC recalled the UN recommendations. Photo: Twitter / Aleksandr Frolov The UOC recalled the UN recommendations. Photo: Twitter / Aleksandr Frolov

The granting of privileges to the OCU by the authorities entails increased discrimination and pressure on the UOC, as stated by the Representation of the UOC.

Ukraine does not comply with the UN “no-privileges-allowed” recommendations for Churches. This is highlighted in the Statement of the Representation of the UOC to European International Organizations regarding the situation of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in the context of international law and OSCE standards, published on the website of the Information and Education Department.

“The actions to create in Ukraine the religious association ‘Orthodox Church of Ukraine’ on the basis of the Tomos, issued by the Patriarch of Constantinople, obviously entails increased discrimination and pressure on the UOC due to the privileges granted to this confession by the authorities and seething hate propaganda in relation to the UOC. If the state authorities of Ukraine had ensured the voluntary change of confessional affiliation and hadn’t given preferences to the OCU, the creation of the new religious structure wouldn’t have eventuated in tragic clashes around the communities of the UOC, which are forced to change their jurisdiction by various political forces and radical organizations.

Obviously, Ukraine fails to fulfill UN recommendations on the inadmissibility of privileged churches: ‘States should provide an open, inclusive framework in which religious or belief pluralism can unfold freely and without discrimination. This requires overcoming any exclusivist settings. Above all, what must be overcome is an understanding in which the State identifies itself with one particular religion or belief at the expense of an equal and non-discriminatory treatment of followers of other persuasions (para 37 of the UN Report)’,” the statement says.

For example, the Church recalled the preferential granting of the church of the St. Sophia of Kyiv complex for the "worship" to the OCU, while repeated attempts by the UOC to obtain a similar right were ignored.

Structures of the UOC in other regions of Ukraine face similar restrictions on their rights, notably with the allocation of land plots to the UOC communities for the construction of churches, as well as with the implementation of other legal rights that are currently blocked for political reasons or are extremely hampered.

“It’s noteworthy that the process of the so-called 'transitions' of the UOC communities to the ‘OCU’ at the level of central and regional authorities receives substantial administrative support, while state structures of the highest level openly demonstrate a privileged position of the ‘OCU’. Thus, in the publications and studies of the National Institute for Strategic Studies, created by the decision of the President of Ukraine and responsible for scientific support of the activities of the President of Ukraine, the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, the OCU is called the ‘symbol of the spiritual independence of Ukraine’, while the UOC is called the ‘conductor of Kremlin propaganda and the mechanism of destruction of the national unity of Ukraine’,” the Representation of the UOC recalled.

The full text of the statement of the Representation of the UOC to European International Organizations can be found here.

If you notice an error, select the required text and press Ctrl+Enter or Submit an error to report it to the editors.
Read also