Parliament Refuses to Consider State of Church-State Relations
The Supreme Council of Ukraine on January 12 rejected Draft Resolution 9486 on conducting the parliamentary hearings on the state of the church-state relations in Ukraine, reported the Institute for Religious Freedom (IRF).
Only 12 deputies voted for this initiative.
In the beginning, co-author of the resolution Volodymyr Marushchenko of the Christian Democratic Union asked to postpone the consideration of the question to continue political consultations. The proposal, however, did not find sufficient support.
As the deputy presented the draft resolution, he stressed that the parliamentary hearing “would indicate the attention of the supreme legislative body and Ukrainian state on the whole to the questions of development of church-state relations and protection of the freedom of worship.”
“It is about the role of the state in the regulation of the current issues in the church environment. And these questions are not ripe. Believe me, we did not discuss them in this hall,” stressed another co-author of the initiative, Volodymyr Stretovych.
As IRF reported, the Committee on Culture and Spirituality was against the initiative. Its objection was voiced by its head, Volodymyr Yavorivskyi.
Representative of the Communist faction Kateryna Samoilyk also strongly objected to a discussion on matters related to the church and religion. She referred to the constitutional principle of the separation between the church and the state.
She was supported by the deputy head of the Party of Regions faction, Vadym Kolesnichenko, who expressed an opinion that “the questions of the interdenominational relations should not be considered in the Parliament.” He denied advisability of the consideration of problems of church-state relations in the parliament: “If you are a believer in God, go to church and pray there.”
In May 2011, the All-Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations noted in its address: “A parliamentary hearing will allow representatives of the confessions to 'present directly to people’s deputies their joint position regarding the approaches to the improvement of the legislation of Ukraine in the area of the freedom of worship and the activity of religious organizations.'”