A prayer service of parishioners of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church against the infringement of believers' rights is taking place near the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine. Thousands of people have gathered.

People addressed the parliament: “We pray that the Lord will give you reason,” “People's deputies! Are you servants of the people or their executioners? Believers of the UOC are your people.”

Unfortunately, the Verkhovna Rada has already voted on one of the anti-church bills – No. 5309 on the forcible renaming of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, despite the constitutional prohibition of discrimination of any confession.

I believe that with this anti-Orthodox vote, the authorities completely set themselves against the people.

In the morning, in violation of the procedural regulations, the coalition put on the agenda the bills intended to destroy the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

This lawlessness has a single reason behind it – critically low ratings of those in power: most of the reforms have failed, people live in poverty, war is in the country, trust in the authorities equals zero. The Church remains the only public institution that Ukrainians trust.

The government puts at threat the existence of the largest Orthodox confession in Ukraine – the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, whose congregation, according to the most modest estimates, is about 10 million people who today may be denied the right to freedom of conscience and religion. Apparently, the regime sees a threat for itself in the UOC parishioners.

My colleagues in the party and faction and I myself stand against the creation of pro-government religious organizations at the expense of discrimination of a third of the Ukrainian people. We stand against the deepening split of the Ukrainian society for the sake of accommodation of the needs of Poroshenko’s election campaign.

This is a crime against Ukraine.