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Ministry of Culture threatened to terminate the registration of the UGCC because of the priests' presence on Euromaidan
13 January 2014, 11:58 | Church-state relations | 5 | | Code for Blog | |
Patriarch Sviatoslav Shevchuk on 13 January published and commented on the letter from the Ministry of Culture of Ukraine on the possible termination of the activities of religious organizations based on their activity on Independence Square (Maidan Nezalezhnosti) where for two months peaceful protests have been held.
On Christmas Eve, January 6, the Greek Catholic head received an official letter from the Ministry about "systematic disregard for the law by some priests on Independence Square, allegedly supported by UGCC authorities."
According to the ministry, the UGCC violated the requirements of the law on freedom of conscience and religious organizations, holding religious activities on the Maidan in December 2013 and at the beginning of 2014.
In response to this information from the Ministry of Culture, the patriarch said that the church is not taking part in political events, but it "cannot stand by when its faithful ask for spiritual care," and they are present on the Maidan.
"Our Church has always been true and will remain so for the future mission that Christ the Savior entrusted, despite all the threats. We thought that the time of repression has passed, but letters like these give us doubts. We are not ashamed of our presence on the Maidan and will remain there," said the head of the UGCC.
We currently do not known whether other churches or religious organizations recieved such letters.
The last time the UGCC "was de-registered" was in March 1946 during Stalin's purges, and for 40 years existed illigaly.
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