Kiev, December 16, 2022
If Ukraine were to ban the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, it would only bring legal troubles and become an international embarrassment for the state, believes one deputy and committee head of the Verkhovna Rada, the Information-Education Department of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church reports.
Nikita Poturaev, head of the Rada’s Humanitarian Committee, said during a recent telethon:
The idea is widespread in society: “Let’s ban some Church.” As a European country, especially as a country that wants to start negotiations on EU membership next year, we can’t do this. This would mean that we’d be sued in the European Court of Human Rights. We are guaranteed to lose this case, and it would be a shame for us as a state and society.
The Humanitarian Committee actually recently approved of the bill submitted by Poroshenko’s European Solidarity Party, but, according to Poturaev, its adoption by the Rada wouldn’t actually mean a ban on the UOC.
The given bill, according to the committee head, would ban any religious organization that is part of a religious institution in Russia, but “According to the deep conviction of the majority of the committee members, there is no such Church or religious organization in Ukraine today,” Poturaev said.
However, as the Ukrainian outlet Strana points out, the bill, in fact, prohibits the activities of any Orthodox Church in Ukraine except for the schismatic OCU.
In fact, Deputy Evgenia Kravchuk, of the same committee, argues that the UOC can’t exist in Ukraine because it’s “actually a division of the FSB [Russian Federal Security Service].”
On the other hand, according to the expert conclusions of the Parliament’s Main Scientific-Expert Department, the relevant bills calling for a ban on the Church actually contradict the Ukrainian constitution and could very well cause a split in society.