The Chernihiv Diocese issued a statement about yet another provocation aimed at discrediting the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in society. We are talking about leaflets pasted on the gates of the Holy Trinity Cathedral in Chernigov and the Yeletsky Monastery on September 16, 2021, writes Pravlife. According to our information, similar situations took place in other dioceses.
The diocese believes that this incident is a consequence of an active anti-church campaign launched on social networks. Therefore, he calls to ensure the observance of the constitutional principle of freedom of world outlook and religion and to promote the cessation of misinformation about the activities of religious organizations in Ukraine.
Below the text of the statement is published in full.
Administration of the Chernigov Diocese of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church
in connection with another provocation
On September 16, 2021, unidentified persons carried out a planned provocation aimed at discrediting the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in the eyes of the public, creating significant obstacles to spiritual and social service, harming the interests of believers.
This impartial conclusion is based on the following objective facts. Thus, on the gates of the Holy Trinity Cathedral and the Holy Dormition Convent of the Chernigov Diocese of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, printed leaflets were posted, which spoke about the affiliation of these religious organizations to the “Moscow Patriarchate of the Russian Federation”, as well as links to the article 12 of the Law of Ukraine “On Freedom of Conscience and Religious Organizations”.
The key to understanding the true nature of the events that took place on September 16, 2021 is the fact that an information campaign has been especially active on social media, which incites hostility and hatred towards our Church. Indiscriminate, unfair accusations are made against clergy and believers, religious enmity and persecution of believers of the UOC are intensifying. Playing on emotions, without having any moral right, this campaign is presented on social networks as an achievement in the “struggle for the independence of Ukraine” and “its purification”.
This is a deliberate humiliation of all clergy and believers. We are not talking about such things as honor and dignity at all. Thus, Article 35 of the Constitution of Ukraine guarantees everyone the right to freedom of world outlook and religion. This right includes the freedom to profess any religion or not to profess any, to freely practice, individually or collectively, religious cults and ritual ceremonies, and to conduct religious activities. A similar provision is enshrined in Article 3 of the Law of Ukraine “On Freedom of Conscience and Religious Organizations”.
Freedom of thought, religion and belief, enshrined in Article 9 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, is one of the foundations of a “democratic society” in accordance with the provisions of the Convention. It is, in religious terms, one of the most important elements of the personality of believers and their worldview.
The Office of the Chernihiv Diocese of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church believes that the planned provocation and launched information campaign on social networks carried out on September 16, 2021, is a means of influence and an attempt to establish control over religious organizations, therefore it asks to ensure compliance with the constitutional principle of freedom of worldview and religion, and to promote stopping misinformation about the activities of religious organizations in Ukraine.