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Concern in the UN over discriminatory actions of Ukrainian authorities against the Ukrainian Orthodox Church

Concern in the UN over discriminatory actions of Ukrainian authorities against the Ukrainian Orthodox Church
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27 June 2023 year 19:26

Concern ‘that the cumulative impact of Government actions targeting the Ukrainian Orthodox Church could be discriminatory’ is expressed in the Update on the Human Rights Situation in Ukraine published by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.

It is noted in the document that during the reporting period from 1 February to 30 April 2023, the Ukrainian Government and local authorities undertook a number of measures with regard to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church - in particular, searches were carried out in churches and other church facilities, notices of suspicions were issued against clergymen, several of them, ‘including one of the main hierarchs’, were placed under arrest.

In addition, the Ukrainian Ministry of Culture terminated early the rental agreement with the UOC of the State-owned Kyiv Pechersk Lavra. And at the same time, it is indicated that ‘following UN advocacy, authorities refrained from taking actions that risked violence’ and did not forcibly evict the monks from the Lavra on the stated deadline for leaving the premises of 29 March.

Facts are also given that ‘the city and regional councils in Khmelnytskyi, Rivne, and Volyn banned the “activities of the UOC” in their respective areas, after the regional councils in Lviv, Zhytomyr, Zhitomir and Ternopol had done the same, even though such bans were beyond their authority. Many local councils also sought to terminate municipal property rental agreements with the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

In April 2023, the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine documented a surge of ‘the hate speech’ and several cases of violence against members of the canonical Church. “Public officials, bloggers and opinion leaders used discriminatory and inflammatory rhetoric and openly incited violence against clergymen and supporters of the UOC. ‘The Government and law enforcement authorities did not effectively address the incidents of hate speech during the reporting period’, the document reads.

DECR Communication Service/Patriarchia.ru

Version: Russian, Greek

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