Ukrainian rebels deny existence of Orthodox Church of Ukraine


Interfax-Religiia, 26 February 2019


The statement of the head of the new Ukrainian church, Epifany Dumenko, about the intention of the authorities of the D.P.R. to ban its activity looks like a step toward justification of the seizure of property of the canonical church on the territory of Ukraine, the self-proclaimed Donets People's Republic (D.P.R.) thinks.


"Ukrainian news media are conducting a mass information campaign about supposedly existing violations of the rights of citizens to freedom of religious confession on the territory of the D.P.R. The reason is the D.P.R. law 'On freedom of religious confession and religious associations,' according to which previously existing religious organizations must by 1 March submit documents for state registration (reregistration) in the Ministry of Culture," the chairman of the Committee on the Development of Civil Society and Affairs of Public and Religious Associations of the People's Soviet of the D.P.R., Maksim Parshin, declared.


He said the law was published on 16 May 2018 and back before it took effect the Kiev patriarchate composed an appeal to international organizations in which it expressed fears regarding a prohibition of its activity and elimination of the rights to land and property.


"At the time, Filaret indicated that the demands for registration 'cannot be fulfilled since this is a violation of the norms of Ukrainian legislation.' It seems that the Ukrainian propaganda machine received an order to prepare the basis for subsequent justification of the seizures of property of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church," the chairman of the committee of the People's Soviet of the D.P.R. believes.


He explained that "the so-called PTsU" never existed on the territory of the republic and the UPTs of the Kiev Patriarchate did not actually conduct its activity.


"But even closed church buildings and other property nobody will take away from the owners; it is simply that the owners need to be identified, nothing more. We will give the opportunity to all who wish to maintain their rights and obligations. At the same time, nobody has abolished the usual registration by the general procedure for newly created organizations," the news agency's interlocutor emphasized. (tr. by PDS, posted 26 February 2019)

Background article:
New Ukrainian church fears its expulsion from Russian-controlled areas
February 25, 2019

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