Discrimination against Churches in Ukraine and NM reported at UN forum

15 July 2021 18:27
UN headquarters in New York. Photo: pobedarf.ru UN headquarters in New York. Photo: pobedarf.ru

Public Advocacy draws the attention of the international community to the inadmissibility of discrimination against the Church by state authorities.

At the UN political forum, which was held at the UN headquarters in New York from 6 to 15 July 2021, human rights activists of the Public Advocacy organization declared discrimination against the Orthodox Churches in Ukraine and North Macedonia. This was reported by the press service of the NGO Public Advocacy.

The NGO noted that the high-level political forum on sustainable development (HLPF) is the main UN platform for the follow-up and review of the sustainable development agenda (for the period up to 2030).

Human rights activists addressed the forum participants with a written statement on discrimination against the Orthodox Church in Ukraine, North Macedonia and Montenegro by the state authorities and called on the HLPF to contribute to the maintenance of interfaith peace in these countries.

“It is unacceptable that states at the level of central authorities implement an inequality policy on the national, ethnic or religious grounds. Unfortunately, today this policy is applied against religious communities in Ukraine, North Macedonia, and earlier in Montenegro. In these countries, states interfere in the religious affairs of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, the Serbian Orthodox Church, creating conditions for the emergence of alternative religious structures, directly promoted by the authorities. <...> We reiterate that the UOC is an association of millions of Ukrainians of different nationalities, united by Orthodoxy. They are entitled to freely profess their faith and have an equal footing with other denominations. At this forum, we once again urge Ukraine to ensure the observance of the UOC believers’ rights and abandon the discriminatory policy towards this denomination,” the statement reads.

The full text of the statement is published on the UN Forum website under number 303.

Commenting on this statement, Oleg Denisov, President of the NGO Public Advocacy, noted that “despite the UN's inertia in protecting the rights of the Orthodox communities of Ukraine, North Macedonia and Montenegro, we continue to do what we can to make sure that the problems of the Orthodox Churches be borne in mind by international human rights structures.”

Earlier, the UOJ wrote that the UN told about the violation of the rights of the UOC communities due to the anti-church law on renaming.

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