The Constitutional Court recognized as constitutional the law obliging the UOC-MP to indicate belonging to Russia

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УПЦ МП

The Constitutional Court declared the law conforming to the Constitution, according to which the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate must change its name and indicate its affiliation to Russia.

The Constitutional Court took into account the decision of the European Court of Human Rights in the case of Ilyin and Others v. Ukraine, which states in particular: “the very fact that the state requires a religious organization that wants to be registered to take a name that makes it impossible to mislead believers and society into as a whole and by virtue of which it is possible to distinguish it from already existing organizations, in principle, can be considered a justified restriction of its right to freely choose its name.

The adopted law obliges religious associations to reflect their belonging to a religious organization (association) outside of Ukraine, to which it belongs, by obligatory reproduction of the full authorized name of such a religious organization in their name.

Also, this law established restrictions in the conditions of war on the access of clergy, religious preachers, mentors of religious organizations, the leading center (management) of which is located outside Ukraine in a state that is recognized by law as having carried out military aggression against Ukraine and / or temporarily occupied part of the territory of Ukraine in part, formations of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and other military formations of Ukraine in their places of deployment or other military formations of Ukraine in their places of deployment or other restrictions provided for by law.

It is noted that the text of the decision and its summary will be published on the official website of the Constitutional Court on December 28, 2022.

  • On December 20, 2018, the Verkhovna Rada voted for draft law No. 5309, according to which the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate must change its name and indicate its affiliation with Russia. At the same time, it was the name of the UOC-MP that was not indicated in the law.
  • The speaker of the UOC-MP, Archbishop Kliment, said: “This law has nothing to do with our church, since it is not written anywhere that we have a relationship, subordination, control with some foreign center where there are aggressor states.”
  • Later, the UOC-MP stated that bill No. 5309 on renaming the church violates the right to freedom of religion and discriminates against millions of believing citizens of Ukraine on religious grounds and called on President Petro Poroshenko to veto it.
  • On December 22, the corresponding law was signed by the 5th President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko.
  • The Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate announced that it would initiate an appeal to the Constitutional Court regarding a law that obliges it to indicate its affiliation to Russia in the title. It was submitted by 49 people’s deputies, mostly representatives of the Opposition Platform for Life party.