Ukraine’s NSDC initiates a ban on religious organizations associated with Russia

December 2,2022 1146
Ukraine’s NSDC initiates a ban on religious organizations associated with Russia

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky has enacted a decision of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, which initiates the ban on religious organizations associated with Russia, by his decree of December 1, reports.

The decision stipulates that the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine will submit to the Verkhovna Rada within two months a draft law on making it impossible for religious organizations affiliated with centers of influence in the Russian Federation to operate in Ukraine. At the same time, the document should observe the norms of international law on freedom of conscience and the commitments Ukraine made when it joined the Council of Europe.

The status of the State Service of Ukraine for Ethnopolitics and Freedom of Conscience should also be stepped up – it will be classified as a central executive agency whose activities are guided and coordinated directly by the Cabinet of Ministers.

According to the decision, the presence of legal grounds and compliance with the conditions of use by religious organizations of the property located on the territory of the National Kyiv-Pechersk Historical and Cultural Reserve will be checked within two months. In the same term, a religious expert examination of the Statute on the Administration of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church [Moscow Patriarchate] should be conducted for the presence of a church-canonical connection with the Moscow Patriarchate and, if necessary, measures provided for by law should be taken.

The NSDC ordered the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU), the National Police, and other competent state bodies in the field of national security to intensify measures to detect subversive activities of Russian special services in the religious environment of Ukraine and counter such activities.

In addition, the proposals of the SBU regarding the application of personal special economic and other restrictive measures (sanctions) will be supported.

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