Ukrainian gov’t adopts second anti-Church bill, further enabling seizure of churches

Kiev, January 17, 2019

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Today, January 17, the Ukrainian Parliament adopted the scandalous bill No. 4128 (on the affiliation of religious organizations and the procedure for the state registration of religious organizations with the status of a legal entity), reports the site of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

The Rada previously adopted bill No. 5309 on the renaming of religious institutions centered in “aggressor countries.” The Ukrainian Church has continually warned that these two bills together are aimed at the seizure of its churches.

229 Verkhovna Rada Deputies voted in favor of bill No. 4128. It had failed to pass before but Rada Speaker Andrei Paruby, a Uniate and founder of the neo-Nazi Social-National Party of Ukraine, continually placed it back on the agenda. About 20 Deputies intend to seek to have the bill repealed based on Paruby’s interference in the proper procedure for passing a bill, reports Interfax-Religion.

According to the new version of the bill, a 2/3 votes from the members of the parish community must vote for a parish to transfer to a new jurisdiction (it was previously proposed to make decisions by a simple majority). The criteria for membership in the community is left up to each community. Those who vote must personally sign the decision.

The bill also provides for a temporary ban on any actions regarding the parish property, thus the real estate cannot be sold, seized, or pledged during the transition to a new jurisdiction. If it turns out there is a portion of the community that does not agree to the transition, it can form a new community and has the right to conclude an agreement on the alternating use of the church.

Commenting on the bill as adopted, the head of the Ukrainian Church’s legal department Archpriest Alexander Bakhov noted in particular that “under the pretext of facilitating changes in affiliation and allegedly improving the procedure for registering the charters of a religious communities, the People’s Deputies are trying to introduce a mass re-registration of the charters of all religious organizations in Ukraine.”

“As we can see, the attempt to propose a mechanism for changing affiliation has turned into excessive administration and a complication of the procedure for registering the charters of religious organizations,” Fr. Alexander emphasized.

Fr. Alexander previously said that the bill “is aimed exclusively at the liquidation of the UOC through the raider seizure of its property.” The schismatic and nationalist-terrorist tactic of sending fake community members to vote to transfer a community now has legal backing, as Fr. Alexander explains.

“They need this law to seize our churches,” Vasily Anisimov, the head of the Ukrainian Church’s press service, explained. “They aren’t creating their own churches, they’re trying to steal ours,” he said.

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