Ukrainian law enforcement aims at Moscow church


Interfax-Religiia, 5 December 2018


Personnel of the Security Service of Ukraine (S.B.U.) under the procedural direction of offices of the prosecutor along with national police discovered signs of the functioning of an organized network for distribution of material inciting religious strife, the press center of the S.B.U. told Interfax.


"In recent days, law enforcers have conducted a number of searches in different administrative premises of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and private buildings belonging to representatives of this confession. As a result of the searches, a lot of printed materials have been seized whose content has indicators of the inciting of religious and inter-confessional strife," the press service of the S.B.U. reported.


It was noted there that among other things, in the course of two days 75 copies of a brochure "Ukrainian Orthodox Church: relations with government. Attitude toward ATO [Antiterrorism Operation] and church schism. Questions and Answers," which had already come to the attention of the S.B.U. and regarding which there already is a corresponding expert conclusion.


The S.B.U. press center called attention to the fact that according to the conclusion of the expert analysis of the Ukrainian Scientific Research Institute of Technological and Forensic Expert Analysis, this publication "contains propaganda of religious intolerance, offends the feelings of citizens because of their religious convictions, and incites religious inter-confessional hostility and hatred."


"Qualified experts also will give an assessment of other seized materials," the special service added.


On his part, a representative of the legal department of the UPTs, Archpriest Alexander Bakhov, reported on his Facebook page that twenty priests of the canonical church have been summoned to an inquiry in the S.B.U. directorate in Rovno oblast on Wednesday at 10:00.


"The investigator summoned the fathers for 10:00, but apparently this is supposed to be some kind of 'collective' inquiry, because I cannot think of another explanation, but how else can one question 20 persons at the same time? (. . .) According to my information, the inquiry is supposed to occur within the framework of the investigation of criminal activity on the basis of articles 111 (high treason) and 161 (religious hostility) of the Criminal Code of Ukraine," the priest wrote. (tr. by PDS, posted 5 December 2018)

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