Ukrainian parliament reorganizes state oversight of religious affairs


RISU, 30 August 2019


The Verkhovna Rada of the ninth convocation, at its first plenary session on Thursday 29 August, liquidated the parliamentary Committee on Affairs of Culture and Spirituality, which is stated in Resolution No. 1077, which was adopted.


Voting "for" were 299 deputies, "against" were 36, abstentions, 19, and 45 deputies did not vote.


The Committee on Affairs of Culture and Spirituality functioned in all previous convocations of the Verkhovna Rada since the start of independence, and it had this name, except for the first convocation, in which it was called the Committee on Affairs of Culture and Spiritual Regeneration.


This committee worked on preparing draft laws and exercised the function of oversight in the following areas:

--cultural-enlightenment activity (publishing and bibliographical work, cinematography, folk arts and crafts);

--artistic activity (creative unions, theatres, schools of art education, concert and touring activity);

--preservation of historic and cultural heritage (museum and archival work; activity of preserves; export, import, and return of cultural treasures);

--state policy in the sphere of religion;

--state policy in linguistic matters;

--matters of philanthropic activity.


In the previous convocation of the Verkhovna Rada, the structure of this committee included a subcommittee on matters of state policy in the sphere of freedom of conscience and religious organizations, which was headed by the Ukrainian religious studies specialist Viktor Elensky.


In the current convocation of parliament, religious matters will be placed under the purview of the Committee on Humanitarian and Information Policy, which was led by a representative of the "Servant of the People" fraction and general director of television channel 1+1, Alexander Tkachenko.


It is still not known whether there will be created within the committee a subcommittee on religious affairs since this decision will be made by the members of the committee themselves. In all, 17 people's deputies will work in the committee, while a majority, necessary for adoption of decisions, will be from the presidential fraction.


The scope of activity of the new committee will include matters of family. The issue is family and marriage relations, the formation of the institution of family, securing state aid for families with children, and protection of abandoned children. (tr. by PDS, posted 31 August 2019)

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