Liquidate the Church in Ukraine: Ex-President Initiates New Bill Aiming to Dissolve Churches

Originally appeared at: Orthodox Christianity

According to a new bill introduced by Petro Poroshenko, religious organizations could be legally liquidated for activity deemed to be anti-Ukrainian.

Thus, having thus far failed to force the Ukrainian Orthodox Church to change its legal name by the law passed under his presidency, Poroshenko, who remains a Parliamentary deputy, is launching a new attack.

According to Law No. 2662, any religious organization centered in the “aggressor country” of Russia would have to indicate such in its legal name. Legally tying the organization to Russia would open it up to widespread persecution from the civil authorities on all levels. However, the matter is still held up in courts, as the Ukrainian Orthodox Church is completely self-administered and has no legal connection to the Russian Orthodox Church.

Earlier this month, the schismatics issued a statement lamenting that this attempt at persecution of the canonical Ukrainian Church has not yet proven successful.

Then, on February 18, the Verkhovna Rada (Ukrainian Parliament) registered Bill No. 5101, designed to amend the current “Law on Freedom of Conscience and Religious Organizations.” The bill was initiated by Poroshenko and the European Solidarity Party and is posted on the Rada’s official website, reports the Union of Orthodox Journalists.

If approved, the bill will introduce several justifications for legally removing a religious organization’s registration, including encroaching upon personal life, health, and freedom; encouraging citizens to violate the law; calling for the elimination of the independence of Ukraine and the change of the constitutional system by force; violating the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the state and undermining its security; propagandizing war and violence, promoting communist and Nazi regimes and their symbols; and disseminating justifications, legitimizations, and denials of the “armed aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine, which began in 2014.”

Interestingly, the bill also provides for liquidation in the case of “inciting interethnic and racial hatred,” which Poroshenko and the “Orthodox Church of Ukraine” he created have been guilty of for many years now.

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