Ministry of Culture To Change Law on Freedom of Worship
In order to improve the effective laws in the area of inter-ethnic and inter-denominational relations, the Ministry of Culture prepared alterations to the Law of Ukraine “On the Freedom of Worship and Religious Organizations.”
So stated the Minister of Culture, Mykhailo Kulyniak at the extended session of the Ministry collegium on the results of the activity of the last year and objectives for 2012 held on 31 January, in the National Philharmonic Society. So reported the Institute for Religious Freedom (IRF).
On 11 January, at the Parliamentary hearing on the ethnic-national policy of Ukraine, Mykhailo Kulyniak stressed the necessity to change the effective law.
According to the Minister, the new wording of the Law on the Freedom of Worship is aimed to strengthen the legal basis of the freedom of worship.
He also noted that the main objective in the area of the Church-state relations is to be the creation of favorable conditions for the realization of the spiritual mission of the Church.
“It is crucial that the state should clearly define its obligations with respect to the Church, the range of the powers within its capacity, which will make its policy on the Church transparent and open to the public,” said the Minister.
The work team on the preparation of the bills in the area of the freedom of worship, set up by the Ministry of Culture in March, 2011 with the participation of representatives of the denominations, did not consider per se the content of the mentioned bills. The representatives of the denominations informed the Ministry’s leadership at once about the position of the All-Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations (AUCCRO), which considers inexpedient to make hasty alterations to the effective Law in the present situation.
“The common position of the denominations in the raised question has remained unchanged: without consensus about the proposed legislative changes , the development of the new wording of the Law of Ukraine “On the Freedom of Worship and Religious Organizations” should be postponed,” reads the address to the President passed by AUCCRO on 19 July, 2011.
In addition, one should note that the question of religion have been repeatedly specified in the Ministry’s reports and other governmental documents in the section on ethnical and national policy and national minorities.