17 December 2018

We expect that pressure on the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church will only be increasing, since the President needs to show how the parishes of the UOC en masse move to the pro-presidential church created by him. Such steps will lead to incitement of inter-church strives and to consequences tragic for the state.

This is evidenced by a statement made by representative of Petro Poroshenko Bloc’s faction during the today's conciliation council in the parliament saying that during the week it is necessary to adopt two bills aimed at changing the name of the only legal and canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church and at legalizing transitions of UOC parishes to the church "of Poroshenko’s patriarchy" under pressure from the Security Service of Ukraine.

Our party will defend the unity and interests of believers of the only canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church by all legal means. We will not allow either President Poroshenko or anyone else who supports him seizing and transferring churches to this political organization with a religious name, which was created as an element of electoral technology of Petro Poroshenko, who, unfortunately, is assisted by Patriarch Bartholomew. The Opposition Bloc's faction stands against putting these draft laws on the parliamentary agenda. Their adoption will not only put at threat the existence of the UOC, but will also show Ukraine as a state where property rights are not protected. Instead of being busy with the economy and restoring peace, President Poroshenko went the way of inciting interfaith hostility. Now to show a massive transition to this new church organization the authorities will only be increasing pressure on priests and bishops. We can become witnesses of new seizures of temples. I suggested that if the authorities really do not plan to seize the churches and property of the UOC, our bill no. 6200 should be put on the agenda. It will not allow illegally depriving confessions of ownership of property and the right to use it. 

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