Prime Minister Yatsenyuk Asks UOC(MP) for Help in Donbas
Prime Minister Yatsenyuk calls on the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate to take advantage of its influence in Donbas to release hostages.
Ukrayinska Pravda reports him as saying this during a meeting with representatives of the All-Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations in Kyiv.
“I will inform the president about our meeting. I believe that the president will meet with the All-Ukrainian Council of Churches to pay special attention to the hostages who were captured in Luhansk and Donetsk regions," said Yatsenyuk.
The Prime Minister stressed that the situation in Donbas is critical, especially in the field of human rights and freedoms.
“I have a special appeal to the UOC (MP) concerning the influence you exert there. It would be very important that you put pressure on those who torture the people, those who capture people, as long as we cannot get through there,” he said.
“It will be a great and sacred thing to do – to exchange the hostages, to pull out the people who are kept hostages, to help priests of all denominations so that human rights are observed and human dignity is not flouted,” said Yatsenyuk.
He also urged members of the All-Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations to help the authorities in support the people who were forced to leave Donetsk and Luhansk regions. According to the press service of the government, there are already 350,000 of them.
Yatsenyuk also noted that they started organizing the chaplains’ service in all armed formations: Armed Forces, National Guard, and SBU.
He noted that the government adopted the new Law on Education, which allows the Ministry of Education to license religious schools. Separate religious education courses have been introduced in high school for students in grades 5-6.
Yatsenyuk added that the Cabinet has reduced the electricity tariff for religious organizations by 50%.
He said that the government decided to create a Crimean House, and is now deciding where to place it: “This state enterprise will provide full assistance to the All-Ukrainian Council of Churches,” said the prime minister.
Yatsenyuk also said that the interdenominational struggle will be suppressed in Ukraine.