Ukraine wants to Ban its own newly founded Orthodox Church for alleged ties to Russia



Ukraine’s Orthodox Church which gained independence from Russia in December 2019 because of Russian manipulation and aggression, is now risking to be banned by the Ukrainian parliament over alleged ties to Russia. Not long after independence and now it faces a complete total ban as 267 out of 450 Ukrainian MPs support the ban which makes it a majority. Even if ALL the remaining 183 MPs vote against the ban and there would be 0 abstainings or missing (not present at work), still the law would pass…

If this happens, this would leave Ukraine without a church and it would be the equivalent of Poland banning its Catholic Church or Romania banning its Orthodox Church, we chose such as examples as Ukraine neighboring democracies but of course we could also choose other examples, it would be like India banning Hinduism, Israel banning Judaism, Saudi Arabia banning Islam, Japan banning Buddhism and so on…. if such a law passes, this would be the most extreme anti-religious law ever passed everywhere in the world, on par with North Korea.

In a controversial move, a bill targeting the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC), the country’s largest Christian denomination, might be passed in early 2024, according to Ruslan Stefanchuk, the speaker of the Ukrainian parliament. The authorities in Ukraine have persistently accused the UOC of having ties with the Russian Orthodox Church, despite the UOC denouncing Russia’s military operations in Ukraine and declaring its autonomy from Moscow in February 2022.

The legislation, initiated by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, passed its first reading in October and could lead to the banning of the UOC if a review panel confirms its alleged connections with Russia. This bill has raised concerns about religious freedom and constitutional rights, with the UOC strongly opposing it. The Church, boasting millions of followers across Ukraine, argues that the legislation contradicts the Ukrainian Constitution.

Patriarch Kirill of the Russian Orthodox Church has called for intervention by religious leaders and international organizations to address what he views as “mass violations of religious rights” against the UOC. He contends that Ukrainian authorities’ actions are comparable to oppressive regimes of the past.

President Zelensky’s administration supports the Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU), established after the 2014 coup, which has led to religious tensions. Since the conflict’s onset, Ukrainian authorities and activists have been seizing UOC places of worship, transferring them to the government-backed OCU. This has included evicting UOC monks from the revered Kiev Pechersk Lavra. The situation remains contentious, reflecting broader geopolitical and religious dynamics in the region.

Even Russia’s Patriarch Kirill which was against Ukraine’s Orthodox Church is now coming out in support of it, fearing a complete total ban. We hope and pray that Ukraine’s MPs come to their senses and do not ban the church and won’t violate religious freedoms in the country to such an extent.

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