Kyiv to consider legislating against Moscow’s branch of Ukrainian Orthodox Church
In November, the Security Service of Ukraine began conducting inspections in churches of the UOC (MP) (Photo:SECURITY SERVICE OF UKRAINE)
Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) has instructed the government to consider introducing legislation that would ban “Russia-affiliated” religious organizations, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said during his Dec. 1 evening address.
The most recent NSDC meeting examined the evidence of “certain Ukrainian religious circles having ties” to Russia, according to the president.
Furthermore, the government is to audit the legitimacy of “religious organizations” leasing Kyiv Pechersk Lavra from the state.
Security services were similarly instructed to investigate the reach of Russian intelligence services into Ukrainian “religious circles.”
“Among others, these decisions will guarantee Ukraine’s spiritual independence,” Zelenskyy said.
On Nov. 22, Ukraine’s SBU security service searched the premises of Kyiv Pechersk Lavra monastery, which is leased by the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate). The inspection was prompted by a widely-shared video footage of an avidly pro-Russian chant being performed during a liturgy at the monastery.
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