Metropolitan Clement: The law on renaming is aimed at liquidating UOC

Believers of the UOC during a religious procession in Kyiv. Photo:

The hierarch noted that attempts by the authorities to intimidate the UOC will not affect the position of believers who want to remain in the canonical Church.

Law of Ukraine No. 2662-VIII (on renaming) was adopted during the time of President Petro Poroshenko with the aim of liquidating the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, said Metropolitan Clement of Nizhyn and Priluky in an interview with the portal.

According to him, the authorities are trying to intimidate the canonical Church with this law, which has been suspended. “It is hanging like a sword of Damocles over the Church. If you misbehave, the bans imposed by the District Court can be neutralized by the decision of an official. And that’s all – the process will roll from there on,” the UOC hierarch thinks.

At the same time, he noted that, in fact, the renaming will not change the attitude of the UOC faithful to their hierarchs, but it may jeopardize what the Church has created and revived in Ukraine over the years of independence. “My parishioners know which Church I belong to, who the Patriarch is, who the Metropolitan of Kyiv is. And they already decided on this a long time ago. Even if I change my name, nothing will change. But the state adopted this law to liquidate the UOC,” said Metropolitan Clement. “But if we call ourselves the Russian Church, then who in Ukraine will conclude a kind of agreement with us? While all the documents are reissued, I think that the redistribution of real estate will begin, and our Church will lose a significant part of what it has created and revived over the past 30 years."

As reported, the NGO "Miriane" stated that the Cabinet of Ministers openly defends the anti-church laws.

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