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  5. The interference of the authorities in the activities of religious organizations of the UOC is unjustified, lawyers say

The interference of the authorities in the activities of religious organizations of the UOC is unjustified, lawyers say

In recent years, the state has not abandoned its attempts at the level of laws to establish exactly how Ukrainians can exercise and exercise their religious rights. An example is the Law No. 2662-VIII (Regarding the Name of Religious Organizations), adopted by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine on December 20, 2018. With this law, the legislator defined the criteria (signs), which, in his opinion, unanimously testify to the subordination (subordination) of the corresponding religious organization to the ruling center (administration) located in the state that carried out military aggression against Ukraine and / or temporarily occupied part of the territory of Ukraine, that is – Russian Federation, writes the Union of Orthodox Lawyers.

“Further – more: in the presence of such signs, the legislator obliged the religious organization in its full name to reflect its affiliation with such a religious organization outside of Ukraine.

If we consider this law from the point of view of compliance with the Constitution of Ukraine and the secular nature of the state, it should be noted that it is unconstitutional and contradicts the principles of separation of the state from the Church. This is the point of view that 49 people’s deputies of Ukraine adhere to in their Constitutional Submission on Compliance with the Constitution of Law No. 2662-VIII (Concerning the Name of Religious Organizations), which has been under consideration in the Constitutional Court of Ukraine for more than two years. The case has not yet been reviewed.

However, this did not prevent the Ministry of Culture of Ukraine from adopting an order according to which the Kiev Metropolitanate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and a number of religious organizations must amend their official names and submit appropriate changes to their charter for registration by April 26, 2019. The District Administrative Court of the city of Kiev suspended this order. Motivating the decision, which was left unchanged by the Supreme Court, the court noted that in its opinion, the implementation of this order at the present time and the implementation of actions to carry it out may lead to unjustified interference of the state in the sphere of activity of a religious organization as a legal entity.

It is very unfortunate that state bodies, in the language of the administrative court, are carrying out unjustified interference in the sphere of activities of a religious organization. Because of this, millions of believers are forced to seek protection of their rights in Ukrainian courts.

SPA hopes that in the near future the Constitutional Court of Ukraine will put an end to this issue and recognize the Law of Ukraine No. 2662-VIII as not in line with the Constitution,” writes UOL.

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