Verkhovna Rada adopts bill on military chaplaincy

Верховная Рада Украины. Фото: РИА Новости

The people's deputies adopted bill No. 4626 "On the Service of Military Chaplaincy", removing from the text the mention of the law on the aggressor country.

On November 30, 2021, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine adopted in the second reading the draft law "On the Service of Military Chaplaincy". The session was broadcast live on the Rada TV channel.

291 people's deputies voted “for”, 11 “against”, 11 people's deputies abstained. 27 deputies did not participate in the voting.

Rada Speaker Ruslan Stefanchuk called it "a truly historic decision".

The adopted bill No. 4626 provides for the creation of the Military Chaplaincy Service and determines its structure, subordination and total number.

People's deputies Nestor Shufrich, Alexander Kachura, Alexander Kachny and others spoke out against the provisions of the bill that discriminate against the UOC so that the Rada would not adopt another law that divides Ukrainian society and violates the Constitution. The elimination of these norms was supported by about 60 deputies.

As a result, the law was supported, excluding Part 3 of Art. 7 with a reference to the religious organizations of the aggressor country.

During the discussion, one of the "fathers" of the Tomos, people's deputy of the "European Solidarity" party Rostislav Pavlenko said that it is necessary "to put up a reliable barrier for the Church of the aggressor country in access to the Armed Forces of Ukraine". Vladimir Vyatrovich said that the amendments to the bill "launch agents of the Russian world into the Ukrainian army". To prevent the UOC from joining the army, the people's deputies created amendments 63 and 78, but they did not pass the vote.

The day before, the laity of the UOC turned to the head of the Verkhovna Rada Ruslan Stefanchuk, stressing the need to exclude provisions that discriminate against the Church before considering the bill. The believers called on not to allow gross violation of the constitutional rights of citizens of Ukraine.

The UOC claimed that they would seek equal rights for their believers in the army.

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