21 October 2016, 11:16
Metropolitan Onufry complains to USA ambassador of the UOC discrimination
Moscow, October 21, Interfax - Metropolitan Onufry of Kiev and All Ukraine informed US ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch about his concerns over discrimination of the Moscow Patriarchate Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
At their meeting in the Kiev Laura of the Caves the metropolitan also mentioned the US State Department report on religious freedom in Ukraine for 2016 where violations of UOC believers' rights were registered, its press service reports.
"The American ambassador was also informed about the church position regarding scandalous and contradictory drafts №4128 и №4511 considered by the Supreme Rada: in case they are adopted, serious problems in Ukraine's religious sphere may arise," the message reads.
The Ukrainian Orthodox Church calls draft №4128 a draft about "church raiding" as it suggests legalizing the practice of capturing Orthodox churches in Ukraine by representatives of the self-proclaimed Kiev Patriarchate. Since the military conflict in Ukraine began, the latter has seized dozens of UOC churches. The captures are often realized by re-registering the statutes and under pressure by force from radical nationalists and local authorities.
At the same time, Ukrainian leaders are striving to set up a local Orthodox Church in the country, thus separating the UOC from the Moscow Patriarchate.
Draft №4511 suggests giving a special status to religious organizations, which governing centers are located in the state-agressor.
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