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  5. The text of a new bill appeared, which may ban the UOC

The text of a new bill appeared, which may ban the UOC

The text of the draft law 8262 dated December 5, 2022 “on improving the legal regulation of the activities of religious organizations” appeared on the Politika strany Telegram channel.

The draft law proposes to amend existing legislative acts. For example, in the law “On Freedom of Conscience and Religious Organizations”.

Firstly, it is a ban on subordination to foreign religious organizations whose activities are prohibited on the territory of Ukraine:

“The state recognizes the right of the religious administration to be subordinate in canonical and organizational matters to any religious centers operating in Ukraine and abroad, except for foreign religious organizations whose activities are prohibited on the territory of Ukraine in accordance with the Law, and to freely change this subordination by introducing appropriate amendments to the charter (regulation) of the religious administration.

Obviously, this clause will be used against the UOC, if the “religious expertise” confirms its canonical or organizational connection with the ROC. However, it is necessary to adopt another law prohibiting the activities of the ROC on the territory of Ukraine.

Secondly, the authors of the bill propose to correct the mechanism for changing the subordination of religious organizations:

“The decision to change the subordination and make appropriate changes or additions to the charter is approved by at least two-thirds of the members of the general meetings of the religious community present.”

It is noteworthy that the current version of the Law on Freedom of Conscience refers not to two-thirds of the “members of the assembly of the religious community present,” but to two-thirds of “the number of members of the religious community.”

There is a simplification of the raider scheme for the capture of temples.

Thirdly, the draft law proposes to prohibit the leasing of state property to religious organizations that are part of other religious organizations whose control center is located in the aggressor state.

This clause is obviously aimed at canceling the lease of the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra and other places of worship by the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, if it is recognized as an “integral part” of the ROC.

Thus, the fate of the UOC depends on the notorious “religious expertise”, according to which the nature of relations between the UOC and the ROC will be determined.

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