UOC spokesman: If you ban our chaplains, don’t recruit our guys into army

Archpriest Nikolai Danilevich. Photo: Twitter

Any arguments about the absence of UOC priests in the army are deceitful and a direct violation of rights and religious freedom, the UOC spokesperson said.

Archpriest Nikolai Danilevich, deputy head of the Department for External Church Relations of the UOC, said on his Facebook page that the absence of the UOC chaplains in the army is discrimination against UOC believers.

“If guys – UOC faithful are recruited into the army, it means that the army should have chaplains from the UOC. If you do not want and forbid the army to have chaplains from the UOC, then do not take our guys into the army. And that's all. But now it looks the following: our guys are recruited into the army, but chaplains are denied. This is the inequality of everyone before the law, this is discrimination ..., ” said the spokesperson of the UOC.

“Because if, as some of our “patriots” slanderously shout, the priests of the UOC are “FSB agents”, then why are their faithful not “FSB agents”, as well? Why, then, they (young guys) can be taken into the army, but their priests are not? Or, and vice versa, if the ordinary faithful of the UOC are not "FSB agents", then why should their priests be like that? Therefore, any excuses for the faithful of the UOC on the availability of their priests in the army is deceitful and a direct violation of rights and religious freedom,” added Archpriest Nikolai Danilevich.

As a reminder, on May 21, 2021, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine adopted draft law No. 4626 "On the Military Chaplaincy Service" as a basis.

The VR Committee on National Security has recommended, in the second reading, to exclude from the draft law on military chaplaincy the provisions that deprive UOC believers of pastoral care.

As previously reported, bill No. 4626 on military chaplaincy was developed with representatives of different confessions, except for the UOC, and deprives its faithful in the military formations of Ukraine of pastoral care.

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