Moscow church wins reprieve in Ukrainian court


Interfax-Religiia, 22 April 2019


A district administrative court of Kiev granted the application of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UPTs) to secure the lawsuit in the case regarding the cancellation of the order of the Ukrainian Ministry of Culture according to which the Kiev metropolia of the UPTs must insert changes into its name, the press service of the court reported on Monday.


"The court granted the application of the Kiev metropolia of the UPTs for securing the lawsuit, in light of the fact that failure to take such measures may substantially complicate or make impossible the restoration of rights or interests of the plaintiff that have been violated or challenged. In addition, in the court's opinion, implementation at the present time (before the resolution of the case on the merits) of the act being challenged and its execution may lead to unjustified interference of the state in the sphere of the activity of a religious organization as a legal entity," the report on the court's official website says.


At the same time, the court notes that the adoption of measures of securing the lawsuit does not predetermine the actual resolution of the dispute, inasmuch as it is aimed "exclusively at the preserving of the existing situation before the completion of the investigation of the case on the merits."


At the district administrative court of the capital it was noted that the court has included 265 religious organizations as participants in the case as third persons.


As reported, on 29 March the district administrative court of Kiev opened proceedings in the case of the lawsuit of the Kiev metropolia of the UPTs against the Ministry of Culture for cancellation of the order for approving a religious studies expert analysis to establish a list of religious organizations that fall under the action of the standards of the law "On freedom of conscience and religious organizations."


On 20 December 2018, the Verkhovna Rada adopted a law requiring the UPTs to indicate in its name its affiliation with the Russian Orthodox Church. On 22 December 2018, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko signed the corresponding law.


The document provides that a religious organization that is a member of the structure of a religious organization with its center in a state that has committed armed aggression against Ukraine and temporarily occupied its territory must reflect in its name its affiliation with such a center outside the borders of the country. It will be required to show in its charter the full name of that organization of which it is a part and whose center is located outside the borders of Ukraine, with the permissible addition of the words "in Ukraine."


According to the law, if a church with its center in the Russian Federation does not submit for registration changes in its charter regarding renaming, within four months, then its charter will lose its force in that part. (tr. by PDS, posted 22 April 2019)

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