Abbess Serafima (Shevchik), Chairman of the Synodal Department of the UOC “Mission “Church and Culture”, published an Appeal to the President of Ukraine V. A. Zelensky about the improper performance of the duties of the State Service for Ethnopolitics and Freedom of Conscience.”
“The war exposed all the shortcomings and weaknesses in such a sensitive area as the religious one. The main thing is that this sphere lives by itself, without the attention of the relevant authorities. Who does not try to use it! Political parties are arming themselves with slogans to protect one or another confession. On the ground, some deputies, officials, mayors of cities are guided by their own electoral needs. Everyone pulls the blanket over himself, arranging local religious conflicts and using them for tactical purposes.
A real bacchanalia of violation of the laws of Ukraine in the field of observance of the constitutional principles of freedom of conscience has risen. The Prosecutor General’s Office does not react in any way to the illegal actions of state officials. As for the State Service for Ethnopolitics and Freedom of Conscience, on its part either complete silence or open manifestations of favoritism towards the OCU. Even in the Soviet Union of the times of Brezhnev and Gorbachev, the oversight bodies of religious organizations pursued a certain line to curb bureaucratic arbitrariness in the localities, to bring this sphere under the control of the central apparatus. <…>
It is clear that the faithful of the UOC are very indignant at the insane obstruction that they encounter at every turn. It is clear that they will challenge all illegal actions against their confession in the courts. It is clear that if this does not help and there is a threat of destruction of the UOC, believers will directly turn to world institutions and international instances: the UN, the World Council of Churches, the European community, ambassadors of the leading states of the world and other countries. Why bring it to this?” – writes Abbess Seraphim.