OCCUPATION AUTHORITIES OF SIMFEROPOL DEVISE THEIR OWN DIVISION OF CONFESSIONS
RISU, 24 October 2016
After a year and a half of consideration, Simferopol has decided that not all religious organizations are equal before the city administration of occupation. The latter introduced changes into its own decision of 19 February 2015 "On creation of the Council on Inter-Confessional Relations under the head of the administration of the city of Simferopol," Religiia v Ukraine reports, with reference to Novocrimea.ru.
Thus, point 4.1 of the aforementioned decision was amended so that after the words "religious associations" there would appear the words "from among the historically traditional confession that have operated on the territory of Crimea for at least 100 years." Thus, membership in the council is impossible, for example, for believers of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kiev patriarchate [UPTsKP], Greek Catholics, and other churches that were not active in Crimea in the early twentieth century.
It has been impossible to find out why bureaucrats of the annexed city need to cut off the "new ones" from inter-confessional discussion and whether Buddhists, for example, lived in Crimea 100 years ago. It has been impossible to make contact with the director of the Department for Affairs of Religions and National-Cultural Communities of the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Crimea.
In December 2014, Archbishop of Simferopol and Crimea Kliment, of the UPTsKP, explained in an interview with the publication In the Crosshairs that several representatives of the Crimean occupational authorities had made a statement that the question of the status of traditional for some of those from Crimea would be resolved. At the same time the bishop specified that the concept of traditional and nontraditional churches does not exist in religious and legal terminology. "It is the personal opinion of the person who raises this topic and makes it political. We are told that the Kiev patriarchate is nontraditional. How so? As an administrative unit or a spiritual one? If it is as an administrative unit, then this again confirms that the current Crimean "authorities" are violating the constitution and orders of Putin himself relative to civil society. From the point of view of spirituality, if they will tell us that we are nontraditional, then this will mean that Orthodoxy is nontraditional in Russia, and that also means the Moscow patriarchate itself," Archbishop Kliment said. (tr. by PDS, posted 26 October 2016)
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