On September 12, 2023, an interview of the head of the “European Solidarity” party in the Kyiv City Council Volodymyr Prokopiv, in which he expressed the need to ban the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in the city of Kyiv, was distributed in the Internet on the resource of the Telegraf publication. The Information and Education Department of the UOC published a comment from the Legal Department on this issue.
“For a long time, representatives of the political party “European Solidarity” deliberately commit actions and speculate theses aimed at discriminating against the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, agitating to make decisions to ban the activities of the UOC and committing actions aimed at physically preventing such activities,” the commentary reads.
The Legal Department recalled that it has repeatedly drawn the attention of local government officials to the illegality of making such decisions and the lack of legal consequences for them. After all, the Law of Ukraine “On Local Self-Government in Ukraine”, which defines the list of powers of village, settlement, city councils and their executive bodies, does not contain such powers as a ban on the activities of any religious organizations on the territory of the community.
In addition, as the lawyers noted, while giving the interview, Volodymyr Prokopiv “allowed himself to make unsubstantiated accusations against the believers of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, who, in his opinion, are allegedly engaged in anti-Ukrainian activities in favor of the enemy. At the time when they are covered with mud and such slander, a large number of believers of the UOC defend the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, participate in various volunteer and humanitarian missions”.
“Mr. Prokopiv’s allegations are false and aimed at creating hatred of some citizens of Ukraine against others on religious grounds,” the commentary reads.
“Given this, we urge Mr. Volodymyr Prokopiv to ask forgiveness from the believers of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, whom he insulted. Otherwise, we reserve the right to initiate prosecution of the head of the European Solidarity party in the Kyiv City Council,” the Legal Department of the UOC noted.