Ukrainian Orthodox Church Representative to the European International Organisations points out “a further proof of the existence of systematic state policy of discrimination against the Ukrainian Orthodox Church”

March 20, 2019 –  The group of UN Special Rapporteurs,  six months ago, on October 30, 2018, appealed to the competent state bodies of Ukraine with a соmmunication request regarding the violation of the rights of Ukrainian Orthodox Church1 faithful but they did not receive any answers or response within the prescribed time limit . The UOC Representation to the European International Organisations views this as an attempt to conceal the true situation with regards to discrimination against the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, reports the UOC Department of Information and Education.

In the communication addressed to the Government of Ukraine questions were asked regarding a series of acts of violence that contradict the internationally recognised right to freedom of religion and belief, which include: “the attack and seizure of  places of worship belonging to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC); acts of intimidation and persecution; the disruption of the All-Ukrainian Cross Procession, as well as violence against peaceful believers”

The UN Special Rapporteurs in their request expressed “grave concern at these allegations made by believers, which, if confirmed, would amount to  an emerging pattern of officially sanctioned , directly or by omission, violations of internationally recognised rights to human life and security of the person, to freedom of expression and of  peaceful assembly and to religious freedom and belief ,as set forth in Articles 6, 9, 18, 19 and 21 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR)2”.

On 12 March 2019, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) published a report entitled “Civic Space and Fundamental Freedoms ahead of the presidential, parliamentary and local elections in Ukraine in 2019-2020“, in which it declared violations of the rights and freedoms of Ukrainian Orthodox Church believers.


  1. UN OHCHR –
  2. UOC Information and Education Department – 19 March 2019, The Ukrainian Government fails to conceal the situation surrounding discrimination against the UOC from the United Nations


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  1. The Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate) is an autonomous Orthodox Church with the headquarter in Kiev, Ukraine. It is spiritually and canonically linked with the Russian Orthodox Church.
  2. The ICCPR was ratified by Ukraine in 1973.
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