A case which illustrates the attitude of the government to the religious denomination of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church is that representatives of the elective state body – Ternopil Regional Council – who are supposed to act ethically and within the legislation took the liberty to openly defame the denomination of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church having blamed a centuries-old religious sanctity of the Ukrainian people – the Holy Dormition Pochaiv Lavra – in antinational activity. In particular, the state body approved by deputies’ voting the following theses: “The Kremlin invaders are interested, like never before, in splitting Ukraine and destroying its territorial integrity. For they feel uneasy when they watch Ukrainians become the nation of courageous and brave people. In order to further undermine our society the occupants create and activate “fifth columns” to serve the neighbouring state. The Pochaiv Lavra of Holy Dormition, one of the spiritual sanctities of the Ukrainian people, is being intentionally transformed into the focal centre of anti-Ukrainian activity and interreligious conflict. Under the “canonical” guise of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Moscow Patriarchate it actually intends to russify the Ukrainian population assisting the invaders”.
Regrettably, this official standpoint of the state body can be interpreted by the population as a flash signal to seize sanctuaries of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church with impunity.
To learn more about religious freedom infringements committed against the UOC believers you are encouraged to consult our detailed reports and statements:
- Collection of Information Materials and Documents “Facts, Evidence and Claims Regarding Violations of the Rights of Believers and Religious Organizations of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in 2014-2016”.
- Written Statement of the NGO “Public Advocacy” within the United Nations 28th Universal Periodic Review on Ukraine.
- Written Statement of the NGO “Public Advocacy” on the violations against the Ukrainian Orthodox Church within the United Nations 37-th Regular Session.
- Statement of the NGO “Public Advocacy”