#Commentary of Maxim Parshin on preparation of Ukraine’s information field to seize temples of canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church
The Ukrainian mass media conduct mass information campaign on alleged violations of citizens’ rights for freedom of religion in the DPR. The reason was the DPR’s law “On freedom of religion and religious communities”, according to which previously existing religious organizations had to provide an authorized body (the Ministry of Culture) with documents for state registration (reregistration) until March 1, 2019 (p.5 art. 32).
I would like to emphasize that there are no requirements to pay or threats of property confiscation by law. It is necessary to send a set of documents specified by the law (art. 11, p.2) and register. It should be reminded that the law was published on May 16, 2018, which means there was plenty of time.
Besides that, the representatives of religious organizations regularly participate in the meetings of the People’s Council’s relevant committee, as well as are informed about work on amending the existing legislation. That is why the Ukrainian Orthodox Church – Kiev Patriarchate made an appeal to international organizations, which expressed reservations concerning the prohibition of activities and deprivation of rights to land and property even before the entry into force of the said. Then Filaret defined that the registration requirements “could not be fulfilled, because this was violation of the Ukrainian regulations”.
It seems that the Ukrainian propaganda machine has received the order to prepare a base for the subsequent justification of seizure of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church’s property. The thing is that the so-called “OCU” never existed in the Republics, and the UOC – KP does not actually carry out its activity. But even closed temples and other property are not taken away from owners, these owners need to be identified, no more than that. We give everyone an opportunity to preserve their rights and obligations. While no one cancelled usual registration in a general way for newly created organizations.
Maxim Parshin, the Chairman of the DPR’s People’s Council’s Committee on the Development of Civil Society, Issues of Public and Religious Associations