13-02-2018

Andriy Yurash: Ukraine has the world’s most liberal legislation on religion

According to the law, Ukrainian state has only minimal possibilities for analyzing what is happening during the registration of religious communities and, in fact, cannot influence their further actions. Although sometimes it only harms.

Andriy Yurash, Head of Department of Religious Affairs of the Ministry of Culture, was reported as saying this at the intellectual and political talk show “Game of Classics” with Serhiy Rachmanin (every Monday at 21:30 on the ZIK TV channel).

“We must admit that international experts consider Ukraine to be the state with the most liberal legislation on religion. We have such an American model, that is, each community itself registers, itself declares its membership to any center voluntarily, it determines how to exist,” said Andriy Yurash.

Instead, the state, according to the law, has only minimal possibilities for analyzing what is happening at registration, and in fact, has no control of any further actions of a religious organization.

“Therefore, the activities of any religious organization can be terminated only in court proceedings, as Ukrainian legislation does not provide any other options. This can happen in case of a threat to national security, personal health of citizens, or morality issues. Only then will lawsuits be filed and the similar action can be only performed on the court judgment,” explains the official.

Therefore, he believes that the idea of ​​ending the activities of any religious organization is actually an ideological slogan, which in practice has no evidence.

“For example, in 2013, in Cherkasy Region, a community dubbed “Bozhychi” was registered. It is not politically engaged, but believers in the surrounding villages have concluded this is a satanic organization. In fact, this community practiced certain “magic rituals”, says the head of the Department of Religious Affairs of the Ministry of Culture.

According to him, this story ended with the fact that the church of this community, built by a few adherents of the cult, was burned down, and for the fourth consecutive year Cherkasy Regional State Administration cannot abolish the registration of the community, which was effected without proper reflection.

“Courts kick this process over to each other. They do not take it into consideration, refuse to consider the case. The clergymen who had not attended the place of the community registration for two years, are said to have threatened with heavenly punishments,” says Yurash.

So he reiterated: in fact, the Ukrainian state did not even develop a mechanism to implement it.

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