Conference On Totalitarian Sects Held In Zaporizhzhia
From 12 to 13 February 2002 an international conference “Orthodoxy and The Threat of Totalitarian Sects in Ukraine” took place in Zaporizhzhia (southeastern Ukraine) with the blessing of the Synod of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Moscow Patriarchate (UOC-MP). Participants of the conference expressed their concern over uncontrollable activities of sects which they consider "totalitarian." The participants argued that, apart from undermining basic human rights, these sects pose a threat to people’s health, society and the state as a whole.
Participants of the conference stated that destructive cults try to penetrate into the systems of public administration, health care and education, taking advantage of the gray areas in Ukrainian legislation. They also addressed the mass media asking them to warn citizens of possible threats posed by sects and inform people about their activities. In addition, participants called upon legislators to improve the legal regulations now in force that govern the activities of totalitarian sects. It was proposed to take into consideration similar experiences in France, Belgium, Germany, Austria and Greece. The conference, in which more than 200 participants took part, resulted in the establishment of “Dialogue,” an all-Ukrainian center of religious security and assistance to victims of destructive sects. Among the participants of the conference were Archbishop Vasylii of Zaporizhzhia and Melitopol and Archbishop Augustine of Lviv and Halych (both of the UOC-MP), and representatives from 20 regions of Ukraine, 22 eparchies of the UOC-MP, and two eparchies of the Russian Orthodox Church in Belarus and Russia. Source: Press service of the UOC-MP eparchy in Zaporizhzhia.