The Church banned. Ukraine can get into major scandal

Церковь под запретом. Украина может попасть в крупный скандал

Ukraine could get into a scandal in the case of the bill

In the Easter basket of deputies – a bill that allows to stop the activities of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

The idea is exclusive in its kind: after the war in Europe, no attempt was made to prosecute such a large religious organization, writes Andrei Khrustalev in №16-17 of the magazine Reporter on April 29, 2016.

Bill No. 4511, one would not notice – you never know what register in the Parliament. Sometimes it seems, doing it for fun. But too a representative list of authors: Dmitry Tymchuk, Sergei Vysotsky, Alexander Briginets and ten authors, all parties of the current coalition.

The Metropolitan will appoint the Cabinet?

The correct title of the document – About the special status of religious organizations, senior centers are in a state that recognized by the Supreme Rada of Ukraine by the aggressor state. Despite its apparent universality, all of the described criteria the bill has only one significant religious organization – the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate on the territory of the aggressor country). Also according to political analysts:

“We have many, I would even say 90% of religious organizations have external control. Take those same Protestants, Greek Catholics. But it is clear that the bill is written under the UOC (MP)”, – says Ruslan Bortnik, Director of the Ukrainian Institute of policy analysis and management.

Moreover, the UOC the idea that this Church is directed, deny: “the Ukrainian Orthodox Church is Autonomous and independent in its management and structure, and its religious center is located in Kiev. No one can put us under no outside influence,” says the Correspondent of Metropolitan Anthony, Manager of UOC.

“Ukraine became the victim of a hybrid war in which the enemy used all the levers, including religious organizations,” says Dmitry Tymchuk, MP, one of the authors of the bill. – We saw how the priests were used as a propaganda tool. I can’t imagine that in St. Basil’s Cathedral was selling literature, where it is written that the Russian – defective people. And [Kiev-caves] Lavra anti-Ukrainian books for sale! We have religious organizations have a special status and using it as a cover. Ukraine is a democratic state too, and our weakness turns against us.

We are preparing a universal law, it is not directed against any one organization or country. This comprehensive protection of the state. We are talking about the responsibility of religious organizations in anti-state activities, which, under present legislation no.

We offer to churches that are controlled from the outside, signed a Memorandum that they will not conduct anti-Ukrainian propaganda and later was responsible for its activities. In the case of systematic violations of the law, their activities will be terminated. But if they are patriots, then what are they afraid of?”.

Well, why be afraid? The text of the bill, when this number was going to press, on the website of BP was absent. However, it fell into the possession of the Correspondent. From this it follows that to appoint metropolitans and bishops of the UOC will only be by agreement with the authorities (article 5). This was in the days of the Russian Empire, now sounds strange – a Church separated from the state. There are more interesting moment: if the representatives of the UOC will cooperate with terrorists and separatists, the government will have the right to ban it (V. 7). And here’s the caveat.

For example, a priest from the Ukrainian Orthodox Church – out of conviction or for the money – began to preach the “Russian world”. Moreover, storing the weapon directly behind the altar. Moreover, he arranges the night of sabotage and terrorist attacks. According to the current laws of this priest is supposed to arrest, to investigate his actions, and then judge. “Too democratic”?

The authors of the bill suggest not fooling with the investigation of each such incident, and to take and close UOC in one fell swoop.

“If the MP is configured Pro-Russian, which the Verkhovna Rada to close? – surprised the religious scholar Ruslan Khalikov. – To close a large religious organization can, for example, in China. In Europe it would cause a big scandal, as well negatively it will be perceived in any civilized country. In the case of the UOC ban you can predict the outrage of the world Council of churches and other international organizations. In Moscow court has banned the activities of the only community of Scientologists – not the entire organization, and one community. And they disgraced the whole world. No one will understand the logic of the ban, it can not be the 15 million people [parishioners of the UOC -] simultaneously to call for “incitement”.

Hybrid laws

Despite the representative composition of authors, in expert circles, and in the UOC, do not believe that the law will be adopted. In addition, after this bill and the Constitution will have to change. For example, article 22 of the Constitution, it forbids to make in the law, narrowing currently existing rights and freedoms.

“Given the large number of “inconsistencies” of the bill with the Constitution of Ukraine, and also in gross violation of principle of equality of religious organizations, I don’t think it will be successfully installed,” said Metropolitan Anthony.

However, another question: Tymchuk, and other authors of the bill – in politics are not new. Do you not understand that for the sake of the law will have to change the Constitution? And if you knew, why did you submit the bill?

“This is an attempt of PR, – supposes the analyst Bortnik. – The bill has no chance to pass, he too harsh. All what we can achieve by its authors, is to spoil the image of Ukraine – the bill definitely will use to demonize the Ukrainian authorities and the government. The President is well aware, admits that the law will be a factor of social destabilization, the proverbial “last straw” – as the talk in Parliament about the Russian language”.

Metropolitan Anthony calls another reason: “the Bill can be used as a tool of pressure. I guess someone thinks that using blackmail will be easier to solve the question of unification of Ukrainian Orthodoxy. But it’s not. The most durable and long-lasting initiatives are based on dialogue, mutual respect and accepted norms of settlement of the relevant issues. All other approaches – a path to nowhere”.

People under the article

The recognition by Russia of the Crimean Tatar Mejlis an extremist organization may entail serious consequences, says Pavel Chikov, head of the international human rights group Agora.

If the members of this national body will continue its activities in the Crimea, they may be brought under article 282.2 of the criminal code Organization of an extremist organization, according to an extensive litigation practice, including real terms of imprisonment.

“This is the first decision on the recognition of extremist representative body of the whole people, — said the expert. — In fact, it creates a risk of criminal liability in relation to any Crimean Tatar.”

In Crimea is expected to strengthen the repression, told the Correspondent the leader of the Crimean Tatar national movement Mustafa Dzhemilev.

“The searches are coming almost every day, they have already become an everyday phenomenon,” says Dzhemilev. — Looking for prohibited literature, weapons, and not only members of Parliament, but also among ordinary Crimean Tatars.

Cemil opponent of any litigation with the Russian justice, considering them useless. If it is decided that the courts of the Russian Federation already depends nothing, he said. The only solution to this problem – the liberation of the Crimea.


This material is published in №16-17 of the magazine Reporter on April 29, 2016. Reprinting of publications of magazine Correspondent in full is prohibited. The rules of use of materials of the journal Correspondent, published on the website Корреспондент.net can be found here.