Konotop mayor on banning UOC: It was beyond my authority

Mayor of Konotop Artem Semenikhin. Photo: Censor.net

Semenikhin believes that the Constitution guarantees freedom of worship to believers of all denominations in Ukraine, except the UOC.

Mayor of Konotop Artem Semenikhin in an interview with the resource "Glavkom" admitted that the ban of the UOC in Konotop initiated by him was beyond his authority.

"The fact is this (the order to ban the UOC – Ed.) is somewhere beyond my authority. But I was guided by the fact that in the oath of office it was clearly written that I was obliged to comply with the Constitution, which says that the highest value is human life and that no one should violate the borders of Ukraine, the territorial integrity. We are now seeing what is happening. We have temporarily lost territories, we are being killed, we are being raped, we are being kidnapped, we are being robbed," the Konotop mayor said, without explaining what the UOC communities have to do with all this.

When asked by a journalist how his order is fulfilled if it is unlawful, Semenikhin said that he intends to instruct the police and the territorial defence forces "to seal the churches until the community makes a decision” (on the affiliation – Trans).

The mayor said he supported the provisions of the Constitution, which "states that we provide and guarantee freedom of religion", but clarified that the Constitution protects the rights of all believers, except the UOC.

" I absolutely support this, each person has the right to decide for themselves what religion, what faith they should be or be subordinate to any patriarchate, except the Moscow one. Because this patriarchate is not any faith, there is no God there, it is an agent network of Moscow," stressed Semenikhin., The mayor did not specify on what expert opinions he based such conclusions.

As reported earlier, the Konotop mayor banned the UOC in the town because of a "threat to national security".

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The recommendations of the VR committee to hold worship services only in Ukrainian are:
legal requirement of the state
50%
unlawful interference in the affairs of the Church
50%
mere talk
0%
Total votes: 2

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