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Council of Churches condemns separatism and supports the integrity of Ukraine

KYIV – The Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations (UCCRO) has condemned the separatism and supported the integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders.

This is stated in the communique adopted after the session of the UCCRO held on April 3, 2014 in the National Sanctuary Sophia Kyivska, chaired by Metropolitan Onufriy, Locum Tenens of the Kyivan Metropolitan cathedra of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate), the Institute for Religious Freedom reported.

The Ukrainian Council of Churches stated unanimously that there is no inter-religious enmity or intolerance between religions in Ukraine. The heads of the churches and religious organizations condemned the provocations and artificial attempts to incite enmity on the grounds of religion, to which some media have resorted.

“The churches and religious organizations maintain inter-confessional and inter-religious peace, despite the period of socio-political crisis that our country suffers from,” emphasizes the communique from the UCCRO.

In addition, the heads of the Ukrainian denominations expressed firm conviction concerning the necessity of building a strategic partnership of churches and religious organizations with the Ukrainian society and the state.

For this purpose, the Council of Churches has proposed the adoption of the draft law ‘On the concept of church-state relations in Ukraine,’ which will help to overcome the consequences of the atheistic past, to implement constitutional freedom, and to establish the mechanisms of cooperation of religious organizations with the state.

The UCCRO welcomes the fact that this draft law is in the top priority in the program of the new government and hopes that the concept will be admitted in the near future.

The heads of the denominations emphasized the urgent need for a legislative solution to specific problems of the churches and religious organizations by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine’s adoption of the applicable laws, which have the support of all members of the Ukrainian Council of Churches.

About the IRF: The Ukrainian Council of Churches and religious organizations is an inter-religious consultative and advisory body established in 1996. It consists of 18 religious unities (denominations), representing more than 95% of the all major faiths of Ukraine: Orthodox, Greek Catholic, Roman Catholic and Protestant (Evangelical) Christian religious denominations, as well as Islam and Judaism.

Source: Institute for Religious Freedom

Translated by Karolina Omelchenko, edited by Robin Rohrback

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