The Verkhovna-Rada have adopted anti-church bill No 5309.

December 20, 2018. According to the Union of Orthodox Journalists, the Verkhovna Rada have adopted the anti-church bill No. 5309, which obliges the Ukrainian Orthodox Church to change its name as the Church, whose “governing centre(management) is in the aggressor country”, and become the “Russian Orthodox Church in Ukraine”. 240 deputies voted in favour of the bill, 31 deputies voted against, 1 MP abstained.

The Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada Andrei Parubiy said that he had submitted the bill to a vote “at the request of the head of the UOC KP Filaret” and expressed hope that he “will be supported by the entire Ukrainian parliament, all Ukrainians and patriots who are in this parliament, <…> today we will all support the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and Patriarch Filaret.”

“We have always advocated for the freedom of religion, but the Church whose spiritual centre is located in the aggressor state should bear the name of the country where its centre is located. This decision is wider than the religious issue,” the head of the Ukrainian Parliament stressed.

Bill No. 5309 proposes amendments to the Law of Ukraine “On Freedom of Conscience and Religious Organizations” “regarding the name of religious organizations (associations) that are part of a religious organization (association) whose governing centre (management) is outside Ukraine, in the state which, according to the Law of Ukraine, is recognized as carrying out military aggression against Ukraine and / or temporarily occupied part of the territory of Ukraine”.

Earlier, the Central Scientific Experts Office of The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine prepared the Conclusion that bill No. 5309 contradicts the Constitution and recommended that it should be rejected due to inconsistency with the goals stated by the authors of the draft law.

In the meantime, there is a prayerful standing of UOC-MP believers against the adoption of anti-church laws under the walls of the Verkhovna Rada .


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