Parliament Rejects Controversial Bills Concerning Religious Sphere
In response to the proposals of parliamentary committees and factions, the Parliament withdrew from consideration a number of bills concerning church-state relations and religion. Some of them were rejected by both MPs and the religious community.
The Parliament withdrew these bills on February 6, 2014, due to the fact that they were not included in the agenda for the fourth session, the Institute for Religious Freedom reports.
One of the bills rejected was bill 2993 "On creating conditions for the return of religious buildings to religious communities.” The bill would have given the government the authority to manage the real estate used for religious purposes and the power to make decisions on their return to a particular religious organization.
In addition, the bill would have removed 135 sites from the "List of cultural heritage sites that cannot be privatized,” including the complex of the Kyiv Cave Monastery and the Pochayiv Monastery, which means they would have become private property of the religious organizations that they currently use them.
Bill 3007 "On the revival of the unique symbol of Orthodoxy – the Church of Our Lady (Tithe) in Kyiv” was also rejected. The bill proposed to recognize the right of the Orthodox Church to restore violated property rights to the Tithe Church.
A number of the Verkhovna Rada’s draft resolutions to mark certain religious anniversaries and the births and deaths of famous church leaders such as Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky and Patriarch Josyf Slipyj were also removed from the session’s agenda.