The Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate) is set to challenge the discriminatory law in the Constitutional Court of Ukraine.

December 25, 2018. The head of the Law Department of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate), Protopriest Alexander Bakhov gave an interview to the UOC-MP Information and Education Department where he commented the recently signed anti-church bill N5039. He stated, that since 1990, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church has been officially registered by the government authorities with this very name and will retain it in the future.

“We intend to protect our rights by all legal means. We sent an appeal to the President of Ukraine – to use the veto, but, as we see, he did not use such a right. In addition, since there is a flagrant violation of constitutional norms and principles, we will initiate an appeal to the Constitutional Court,” said the head of the Law Dept, adding there will be broader understanding of human rights actions after the law enters into force and begins to be implemented.

The Protopriest stressed that any attempts by the state to force the Church to change its name are illegal and are regarded from the point of view of international law as interference in the internal affairs of a religious group. In addition, the decision to change the name of the Church can only be taken by its governing body, the Council of the UOC, therefore “even if this law enters into force, it will not mean that the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and its institutions automatically lose their names.


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