24 June 2022, 19:51
Ukrainian govt refuses to cancel lease with Ukrainian Orthodox Church
Moscow, June 24, Interfax - The Ukrainian government sees no reason to terminate its lease agreement for the Kiev Lavra of the Caves, Pochayev Lavra, and Sviatogorsk Lavra monasteries belonging to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC), a letter signed by Culture Minister Oleksandr Tkachenko, which was published by Verkhovna Rada deputy Inna Sovsun, who proposes a legal ban on the UOC, said.
The minister pointed out to the parliamentarian that discrimination of religious organizations and believers is prohibited by the national Constitution, the UOC information department said.
The state rents out the monasteries to the UOC under standard agreements which contain a clause about termination upon parties' mutual consent, the government said. The state can only alter or terminate the agreement if the property is used for non-intended purposes or kept in undue condition after a warning.
The government's reply to Sovsun calls her attempts to ban the UOC unfounded because there is no evidence of its clergy and believers acting unlawfully. "The relevant position must be based on documents containing verified data about a priest or believer of the religious organization having committed an unlawful act, the responsibility for which is envisaged by the law on criminal liability or the legislation on administrative offenses (such as a conviction or a court order imposing an administrative fine)," the document said.
Sovsun's request to ban future temple leases to the UOC was also turned down.
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