Ministry of Health accuses UOC of anti-vaccination sentiments

Chief Sanitary Doctor of Ukraine Igor Kuzin. Photo:

The Chief Sanitary Doctor of Ukraine pointed to "problems in communication" with the UOC, noting the participation of other denominations in the vaccination campaign.

The Ministry of Health of Ukraine sees a connection between the UOC and the spread of anti-vaccination sentiment in society. This was stated by Chief State Sanitary Doctor Igor Kuzin in an interview with the Glavcom.

"We notice this trend (with the spread of anti-vaccination sentiments – Glavcom), which concerns the Moscow Patriarchate," said a spokesman for the Ministry of Health.

He noted that the main focus of the department on the coronavirus vaccination campaign is now focused on working with the All-Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations (the UOC is a member of this organization – Ed.), and a joint statement has already been issued by the AUCCRO and the Ministry of Health on the need for vaccination.

“There were several rounds of appeals by heads and representatives of different denominations to their believers about vaccination. On their own initiative, vaccination centers are being set up on the church premises, for example, by the UGCC. Thus, other denominations are involved as much as possible in this campaign, including in remote rural places <...>. If we talk about the Moscow Patriarchate, we see communication as a problem with them. This is an urgent and troublesome issue for us," said Igor Kuzin.

It’s noteworthy that the UOC has repeatedly explained its position on vaccination, advocating voluntary vaccination and inadmissible discrimination against the unvaccinated. In particular, the AUCCRO is going to raise these issues at a meeting with the Prime Minister of Ukraine.

The UOJ also wrote that the MP and Deputy Chairman of the National Security Committee Maryana Bezuglaya accused the laity of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of organizing an action against vaccination in Kyiv.

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