Professor Viktor Yelenskyy: Ministry of Culture’s Letter Is Attempt to Pressure the Church
The government is trying to intimidate the clergy and the faithful, believes Vikor Yelenskyy, a professor of philosophy at the Ukrainian Catholic University, referring to the Ministry of Culture’s letter to the leadership of the UGCC. “From the social and political standpoint, it is obvious that it is an attempt by the authorities – who know no other form of dialogue with society – to intimidate the priests and faithful,” Yelenskyy said in a comment to RISU.
According to him, the letter is absolutely absurd.
“The letter is an assault and an attack on religious freedom. Under normal circumstances, the public prosecutor's office would react to it. It obstructs religious activities,” Yelenskyy said.
He also noted that the Ministry of Culture does not know Ukrainian legislation. “From a legal standpoint, it is not clear which legal organization they are trying to de-register. It is known that the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church and all the churches are not legal entities. Only single administrations and religious communities are legal entities,” said the expert.
He mentioned that the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church is not the only religious institution receiving threats. Bishops of other churches have also felt pressure – they have been told to not to provide prayer and pastoral support to the protesters.
“People who give such orders and put pressure on religious freedom must be punished. Society and politicians should demonstrate that such things should not remain unpunished. They should react more harshly. Because religious freedom is one of the freedoms which the Ukrainian society has taken comfort in for twenty years. It cost us a lot gain this freedom,” said the religious expert.