National forum for protection of religious freedom and dialogue launches in Kyiv
“Religious freedom and stability in Ukraine are important for the global community,” Ambassador of Canada to Ukraine Roman Vashchuk said at the opening of the “National meeting of religious or faith-based communities in Ukraine”. The meeting held on December 8-9 in Kyiv is the project of the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights of the OSCE “Strengthening security of religious communities and other groups in Ukraine”.
The event has been organized by the Department of Religious Affairs and Nationalities to the Ministry of Culture of Ukraine with the support of ODIHR and with participation of representatives of religious organizations, central and regional authorities, scientific and expert institutions.
“The issue of freedom of conscience is an integral component the notion of freedom on which Ukrainian legal system is based,” said Deputy Chairman of the President of Ukraine Administration of Rostyslav Pavlenko. “We have seen how the aggressor is trying to artificially spark a conflict in course of a hybrid war and turn a collision into internal contradictions. Ukrainian legislation is among the most liberal ones, but we have to elaborate a collective mechanism for the application of this law.”
"Success, stability and harmony in Ukraine is important for the entire Euro-Atlantic community”, Ambassador Roman Vashchuk said. He also drew attention to the new challenges that violate stability and prevent dialogue. “We need to pay attention to inter-Orthodox conflicts. There we see certain problems emerge.”
This is the second national meeting in the framework of the ODIHR. The first took place in May 2015. It focuses on various processes and events that take place in Ukraine and affect national stability, the state of religious freedom and interfaith dialogue.
Six thematic sessions will be held within the forum:
1. Religious organizations Ukraine in the context of the main challenges today: realities and perspectives of church-state relations;
2. The importance of dialogue and its role in ensuring peaceful coexistence and social stability and security;
3. Setting up conditions for effective, meaningful and lasting dialogue and the role of government;
4. The system of church-state and interfaith relations in Ukraine in the light of modern expert-analytical assessment;
5. Social, peacekeeping and mediation activities of the churches, religious and public organizations in Ukraine;
6. Interfaith dialogue in Ukraine: the prospects for further development.