Kiev, October 11, 2022
A new report from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights concludes that some civil authorities of Ukraine harass and persecute the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
The UN and other international rights organizations have recognized the persecution of the UOC several times over the past several years. The latest report was delivered at the 51st Session of the UN Human Rights Council, which ended on Friday in Geneva, reports the Information-Education Department of the UOC.
The document notes that during the reporting period of February 1 to July 30, 2022, the local authorities of at least seven territorial communities in a number of provinces suspended the activities of the Church during martial law “without providing a clear justification for such a ban,” which violates international human rights standards.
“Such an unfavorable attitude towards the Ukrainian Orthodox Church may constitute a discriminatory measure on the grounds of religion or belonging to a particular religious group,” the UN report states.
“Thus, local governments and others should take into account that the norms of international law prohibit any manifestations of hatred on religious grounds, and the existing monitoring missions of international organizations monitor such manifestations,” the UOC comments.
The representative office of the UOC to European international organizations again emphasizes that the UOC is an “independent religious denomination with its central administration in Kiev, whose believers are citizens of Ukraine.”