UOC-MP urges President to veto law changing its name to ROC in Ukraine
The Information and Educational Department of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Moscow Patriarchate has issued a statement of the Legal Department of the UOC which calls the law changing its name “unconstitutional” and claims that “it will defend its rights in all legal ways.” The UOC-MP urges the President of Ukraine “to apply his veto to this law”.
The statement reads, “We declare that today's bill No. 5309, which was passed today, violates the right to freedom of religion and discriminates on religious grounds millions of Ukrainian believers belonging to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and does not comply with the Constitution of Ukraine, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Convention on Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.
Ukraine is a secular state, which makes it impossible to establish at the legislative level certain advantages or restrictions for certain religious associations. And forcing the Ukrainian Orthodox Church to change its name is nothing more than an interference with its activities, which can lead to unpredictable consequences in the society.
As we see, this bill does not mention the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, but from public statements we know about its intention to apply it to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in order to please the newly formed religious association “Orthodox Church of Ukraine”, which wants to take up this name. We emphasize that the Ukrainian Orthodox Church is a Church of the Ukrainian people founded by the Council of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and registered in accordance with Ukrainian legislation, and its center is in the city of Kyiv.
We consider this law unconstitutional and we intend to protect our rights in all legal ways. We appeal to the President of Ukraine to apply the veto to this law.“
As reported, on December 20, 2018, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine passed the relevant bill number 5309, which was voted for by 240 MPs. According to this law, a religious organization, the center of which is located in the aggressor country, should indicate in its name the full statutory name of its religious center. In addition, such a religious organization is prohibited from chaplaincy service in military organizations of Ukraine. Now the UOC-MP should have been called the ROC in Ukraine.