Religious figures considered the problem of vaccination in Ukraine
This issue was discussed during a meeting of the Auccro, which was held on January 27, 2021, in Kyiv under the chairmanship of Metropolitan Epifaniy, Primate of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, the Institute for Religious Freedom reports.
The chairman of the AUCCRO expressed his conviction that in general, vaccination does not contradict religious doctrines. At the same time, religious figures cannot take responsibility for the effectiveness and safety of the relevant medical procedure. Therefore, the final choice should be made by each person separately, having studied the information provided by the relevant specialists of the Ministry of Health and other state institutions of Ukraine.
His Beatitude Sviatoslav, head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, stressed that the issue of vaccination is not a religious, but a medical problem. Religious figures should not be promoters of this, because it is within the competence of medical professionals, who should comprehensively inform their fellow citizens about the benefits and risks of vaccination. The main thing is that vaccination is voluntary, effective and affordable.
He said that the key is for the state to provide citizens with a free choice: how to get vaccinated or not, as well as what kind of vaccine to take. According to the head of the UGCC, the choice of a vaccine is important not only from the point of view of its effectiveness and safety but also the technology of its creation, because some vaccines are created in a way that raises significant ethical issues.
In addition, the heads and plenipotentiaries of various faiths summed up the results of cooperation over the past year in the framework of the project "Stop Violence!" they also outlined current areas for further joint activities in the direction of preventing and countering domestic violence.
During the meeting, senior bishop of the Church of Evangelical Christians of Ukraine Mykhailo Panochko raised the issue of raising children and youth on high moral principles. He noted that many scientists, teachers and parent associations call on the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine to promote the further introduction of spiritual and moral subjects ("Christian ethics" and others) in schools. The heads of faiths agreed on the need for a separate meeting with the Minister of education and science of Ukraine to discuss the development of cooperation in this area.
Members of the AUCCRO also analyzed the status of implementation of the order of the Prime Minister of Ukraine on resolving topical issues of state-Church Relations, issued in November 2020. Chairman of the state service for ethnic policy and freedom of conscience Olena Bohdan and head of the Department for religions, ensuring the right of citizens to freedom of worldview and religion of the Secretariat of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine Andriy Yurash took part in the discussion of this issue.
In accordance with the regulation on the AUCCRO, the chairmanship of the Council of Churches for the next six-month period passed to His Beatitude Sviatoslav, the head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church.