Council of Churches Calls to Ensure Right of Believers to Peaceful Gathering

24 June 2010, 09:57 | AUCCRO, inter-confessional councils | 0 |   | Code for Blog |  | 

vrciro_zvernennia1.w.jpgKYIV – The constitutional right to peaceful gatherings is an integral component of ensuring another right which is especially important to believers, the right to the freedom of confession reads the letter of the head of the All-Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations, Bishop Markian Trofymiak, to the head of the parliamentary committee on human rights, national minorities, and international relations, Oleh Zarubinskyi. The letter contains proposals to Bill 2450 in the area of organization of peaceful events, reports the Institute of Religious Freedom.

The All-Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations directs the attention of the deputies to the fact that the effective regulations of Part 5 of Article 21 of the Law of Ukraine On the Freedom of Worship and Religious Organizations as of today contradict Article 39 of the Constitution of Ukraine and discriminate believing citizens and religious organizations as they request the organization receive permission and give a 10 day’s notice to organize a public peaceful event of religious character.

“These regulations absolutely contradict Bill 2450, which is directly aimed at regulating the procedure of organizing peaceful events of citizens. Therefore, we believe that Part 5 of Article 21 of the Law of Ukraine On the Freedom of Worship and Religious Organizations should be replaced by a blanket norm with reference to the Law on the Procedure of Organizing and Holding Peaceful Events,” notes the letter of Bishop Markian Trofymiak on behalf of the Council of Churches.

According to the representatives of the churches, such an approach will eliminate the existing discrimination of believers and stop the negative practice of the local self-government bodies, which, due to the unconformity of the current law of Ukraine, increasingly often hinder believing citizens to realize their constitutional right to peaceful gathering.  

At the same time, the council stressed to the parliamentary committee the necessity to further elaborate the current wording of the draft law on procedure of organization and holding peaceful events, which has been submitted to the parliament for a second reading.

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