Martial law in Ukraine “legalises” seizure of Orthodox Churches – Ombudsman

Comments and statements of the Ombudsman News

The active intervention of Ukrainian authorities in the religious life of the people is contrary to the principles of democracy and human rights. This was mentioned today by DPR Human Rights Ombudsman Daria Morozova.

“Active state intervention in the religious life of the people, which has been increasingly observed in Ukraine lately, is unacceptable according to the principles of democracy. Article 35 of the Constitution of Ukraine enshrines the right of citizens to freedom of conscience and religion, as well as the fact that the church is separated from the state and no religion can be recognized as mandatory,” the Ombudsman noted.

Morozova added that the so-called “Unification Council” may become a point of no return in a large-scale religious split in Ukraine. Even now, according to her, the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church, in fact, has been declared an enemy of the state. Acts of violence are increasingly committed against parishioners and church leaders, and an aggressive information campaign is underway.

“The martial law, introduced in the territory of ten regions of Ukraine, “legalizes” seizure of the churches and property of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church under the Moscow Patriarchate and prevents any attempts of parishioners to protect them,” Morozova stressed. “I urge the international community to pay attention to the current situation in order to avoid the large-scale confrontation on religious grounds since such conflicts have irreconcilable nature and bring serious consequences in terms of increased violence and violation of human rights and freedoms,” she said.

Today, in the Kiev Church of St. Sophia, the so-called “Unification” Council began under the auspices of the Constantinople Patriarchate of Bartholomew. It is noted that the purpose of the Council is to create a new local Orthodox Church in Ukraine, which will have a de jure autocephalous status, but will de facto be chaired by the Patriarch of Constantinople.

Source: DAN