#Commentary of Alexander Malkov on incitement to religious enmity by Ukrainian authorities

There has been a clearly visible tendency of infringement of the rights of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate in favour of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyivan Patriarchate in the state religious policy of Ukraine for the last four years (the latter is not recognized by the World Orthodox community – Ed.). This state policy is more anti-religious than religious, and it continues to gain momentum in Ukraine.

Another contribution to the ‘anti-religious policy’ in Ukraine belongs to the governor of Zaporozhe Konstantin Bryl and one of the deputies of the city council, the former “ATO” participant Oleg Kolomoyets, the author of the “Appeal on anti-state activities of the Moscow Patriarchate’s churches on the territory of Ukraine”.

This story began with the ATO’s public’s indignation, namely the indignation of the members of the territorial civil society of Zaporozhe – the Advisory Council of Veterans of the ATO under the regional state administration – at the actions of priests of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate, which ʺopenly show their anti-Ukrainian and anti-state positionʺ.

The result of such ‘indignant appeal’ was the call for the adoption of the decision on the prohibition of religious activity of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, which is subordinate to the Moscow Patriarchy, on the territory of Ukraine by the authorities and bodies of local self-government and the recognition of it as an ‘extremist organization’.

Legal incompetence of the authors of this kind of appeals would be ridiculous, if not for the fact that such ‘public initiatives’ come into the heads and in offices of officials of authorities. Therefore, such blatant legal illiteracy is no longer amusing, but rather frightening.

The mastermind of the fight against the “Moscow priests” was the Governor of the Zaporozhe region Konstantin Bryl. The Ukrainian media call him a bandit and the main corrupt official of Zaporozhe – Kostya Bryl. It should be noted that he was appointed to his position by Poroshenko. Probably, with a help of a ‘patriotic’ struggle with the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate, he diverts attention from his own stealing.

It should be reminded that the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate is within the jurisdiction of the Russian Orthodox Church based on the rights of wide-ranging autonomy and has a self-governing status – that is, it is actually independent from the centre in Moscow. But it is not that important. The important thing is that, unlike the UOC-KP, the UOC-MP is a legitimate part of the world orthodoxy and it is recognized by all other local churches.

What is the conclusion we should draw from the current situation? It is quite obvious that some advisory councils of the ‘ATO veterans’ and their ‘public initiatives’ in favour of truly separatist, sectarian and unrecognized “Ukrainian Patriarchate” are a smokescreen designed to cover up the theft of Ukrainian authorities.

In fact, we see incitement of religious hatred, and this is punishable by the Ukrainian legislation. The result of this activity is: the social tensions among Orthodox Christians and the formation of Russophobic sentiments in Ukraine.

Alexander Malkov, the DPR People’s Council deputy

The official website of the DPR People’s Council

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