2018-12-05 12:32:00

SBU accuses Ukrainian Orthodox Church of spreading materials sowing religious discord (updated)

Kiev, December 5, Interfax - Employees of the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) under the procedural director of the prosecuting authorities and the national police have found signs of operations of an organized network to spread materials that incite to religious discord, the SBU press center told Interfax.

"Law enforcers have conducted a series of searches at certain administrative premises of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and buildings privately owned by members of this denomination in the past few days. A lot of printed matter, the contents of which show signs of the incitement to religious and inter-faith discord, were seized following the searches," the SBU press center said.

A total of 75 copies of a brochure entitled Ukrainian Orthodox Church: Relations with the State, Attitude to the ATO and the Church Schism. Questions and Answers have been seized among other things in the past two days, it said. The brochure has already been reviewed by the SBU and a relevant expert conclusion regarding it has already been given.

According to the expert conclusion of the Ukrainian Research Institution of Technical and Forensic Assessment, this publication "contains propaganda of religious intolerance, offends the feelings of citizens over their religious beliefs, incites to religious and inter-faith enmity and hatred," the SBU press center said.

"Experts will also evaluate other seized materials," it said.

Archpriest Alexander Bakhov, the director of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church's legal division, in turn, said on his Facebook page that as at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, 20 priests of the church were summoned for questioning at the SBU department for the Rovno Region as part of a criminal case of high treason and religious enmity.