Ukrainian Orthodox Church described ban of UOC parishes as criminal

Decisions of local governments to ban activities of religious communities of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church are criminal and illegal, and they must be abolished, said a May 7, 2022 statement from the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, in the Kiev Metropolis.

"Such decisions are criminal and illegal. They are a cause of the internal weakening of our state in conditions of war, and a significant obstacle to achieving peace in Ukraine, which we all strive for," the statement reads.

There are dozens of such cases across the country. The authors of the document tend to believe that such decisions are made with the tacit consent of the Military Regional Administration, or even with its participation. The heads of the territorial communities are said  to "get instructions, which require them to prohibit the activities of religious communities of the UOC with the aim to seize and transfer them to the 'OCU’ – a schismatic structure calling itself the 'Orthodox Church of Ukraine'."

The statement pointed out that such actions of local authorities "have signs of subversive and subversive activities." The statement says, "We urge the state authorities, local authorities, deputies, and all those involved in the adoption of these decisions, to stop violating the laws and the Constitution of Ukraine, to cancel illegal decisions to ban the UOC religious communities, and not to start a religious war in Ukraine."