UOC-MP bishop convicted in Ukraine for inciting religious hatred

12 May, 09:25
UOC-MP bishop convicted in Ukraine for inciting religious hatred - фото 1
On May 11th, Judge Svitlana Llon of the Lenin district court in Kropyvnytskyi sentenced the former head of the Kirovohrad Eparchy of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate, Petro Hubenia, and Eparchy secretary Roman Kondratiuk to three years of probation and one year without the right to hold leadership positions in religious organizations.

They were found guilty of inciting religious enmity. Defense attorney Serhiy Halushko was forbidden to cover the faces of Petro Hubenia and Roman Kondratiuk. Prosecutor Serhiy Ozhoh read out the case materials, which stated that Kondratiuk, at the direction of Hubenia, began searching, studying, and downloading spiritual literature from Russian publishers from the Internet in order to incite religious enmity and hatred. This literature includes books such as "The Russian Church Guarding Orthodoxy in the 21st Century," "Contribution to the Dialogue of the Ukrainian Autocephaly," "The Ukrainian Church Question," "The Contemporary Ukrainian Question," and "The Rules of Churches and Church Unity." On December 14th, 2021, during a meeting of the church leadership, Kondratiuk presented this literature to those present in his office at the Kirovohrad Eparchy of the UOC. "Suspilne Kropyvnytskyi" reported on this news.

The court found them guilty under Part 1 of Article 161 of the Criminal Code, "Violation of the equality of citizens based on their religious beliefs", and sentenced them to three years in prison with a probationary period of two years and not to hold leadership positions for a year.

They have 30 days to appeal the decision to the Court of Appeal.

The former head of the Kirovohrad diocese of the UOC, Joasaph (Petro Huben), and secretary Roman Kondratyuk were suspected of inciting religious hatred. The SBU reported this in December 2022. Roman Kondratyuk was notified in January 2023.

At the end of October, the Security Service of Ukraine conducted searches of the leadership of the UOC-Moscow Patriarchate in the Kirovohrad region. They found correspondence between the Metropolitan of Kirovohrad and Novomyrhorod and Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and anti-Ukrainian books made in Russia. On November 23, it became known that the Synod of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church dismissed Metropolitan Joasaph of Kirovohrad and Novomyrhorod from the Kirovohrad diocese.