UOC-MP says that the new draft law on chaplaincy No. 4626 ignores rights of military believers of this Church

02.02.2021, 10:05
The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine has registered the draft law "On the service of military chaplaincy" No. 4626 of January 22, 2021. The UOC-MP stated that this bill "is discriminatory in nature against military personnel-believers of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the MP, who may be deprived of pastoral care by the clergy of their church."

This is reported by the Information and Education Department of the UOC-MP.

The authors of the draft law on chaplaincy No. 4626 were MPs of the Golos, EU, servant of the people factions, etc. Representatives of various faiths, except for representatives of the UOC-MP, were invited to develop the draft law, the report says.

"Despite the fact that the draft law notes the multi-confessional nature of our state, and says about "equality of representatives of all faiths in meeting their religious needs," the same draft law contains a number of discriminatory provisions against believers of the UOC... The draft law" on the service of military chaplaincy " not only does not solve the problem of discriminatory deprivation of faithful UOC – servicemen of military formations of Ukraine of the right to pastoral care by the clergy of their Church, and therefore ensuring the constitutional principle of equality of citizens regardless of religious beliefs, but on the contrary only deepens this problem. The adoption of this bill will further increase the tension in interfaith relations in society, lead to a further incitement of interfaith confrontation and the formation of bias against the faithful of the UOC," the UOC-MP complains.

As RISU has reported, on January 22, 2021, a draft law «On Chaplaincy» was registered. This is the result of joint work of representatives of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the National Guard of Ukraine, the state border service of Ukraine, churches and religious organizations, as well as deputies of various factions.

The goal is to properly organize the satisfaction of the spiritual and religious needs of the personnel of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, National Guard and State Border Guard Service and other military formations since with the beginning of the Russian aggression against Ukraine, military chaplains immediately went to the front line and continue to support our fighters to this day.

According to the draft law, before being hired, chaplains must pass coordination with the SBU bodies ("the central administration or regional bodies of the SBU, military counterintelligence bodies").

UOC-MP is unwilling to coordinate with the SBU the candidate chaplains. The official UOC-MP representatives abstain from commenting the comprehensive support provided by the hierarchs of the UOC-MP to the Russian occupier forces in Crimea, blessing their weapons and elaborating the optimal pattern of priest ministry on Russian combat positions.

In 2018, the Judicial Reporter told how the GRU of the Russian Federation recruits Ukrainians and works with them with the help of "a prayer book with canons for every day of the week and any prayer of the soul."

Crimean clergy of the UOC-MP also blessed the forum of separatists of Donbas, Ossetia, and Transdniestria.

The press service of the Ministry of Defense, referring to the results of the survey, reported that more than 80% of military personnel-believers of the Armed Forces of Ukraine consider themselves Orthodox. According to the results of the survey, in the armed forces of Ukraine, 70% of the military identified themselves as believers of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, 10% indicated belonging to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate, 7% - to the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, 4%-to the Roman Catholic Church in Ukraine, 2% profess Islam, 2% identify themselves as Protestants, 5% belong to other religions.