Ministry of Culture asserts its innocence in delaying the registration of UOC statutes

December 14, 2017. Representatives of the Ministry of Culture of Ukraine Andrei Yurash and Dmitry Yatsishin refused to recognize as illegal the actions taken against the statutes of the UOC under registration and consider the claim of the Church to be groundless. They stated this on December 13, during the next court session, reports a UOJ correspondent from the courtroom.

According to the lawyer of the Department for Legal Support of the Ministry of Culture Dmitry Yatsishin, the statutes of the UOC allegedly are not in line with the legislation of Ukraine, since the clauses of the statutes recognizes the subordination of individual communities to eparchial centres, but they “should have the right to change their jurisdiction.” Also in the statutes “there are no clauses confirming non-profitability,” he added.

The head of the Department for Religious and Ethnic Affairs, Andrei Yurash, similarly expressed his opinion: “The statutes contradict the current legislation in certain moments. If we had registered these statutes, we would have shown that we treat everyone unequally. The UOC categorically refused to make any changes to our observations.”

According to him, the Ministry of Culture “does not interfere in the system of canonical rules that exist in any church organizations,” and the term for appealing against the actions of officials has expired, so the court “has no grounds to start legal proceedings on the case”.

In September 2016, the head of the Legal Department, Protopriest Alexander Bakhov, stated that the demands and observations of the Ministry of Culture officials are aimed at “destroying the hierarchical structure of the UOC.”

On February 11, 2017, Metropolitan Anthony, the Chancellor of the UOC, said that the Ministry of Culture of Ukraine artificially blocked the registration of the statutes of the communities of the UOC, which made the Church appeal to the court to defend its rights.

On December 7, 2017, parliamentarians abolished compulsory re-registration of Churches’ statutes, and now in Ukraine automatic entry of religious organizations to the Register of non-profit organizations is guaranteed.