Members of the European Parliament Appeal to European Commission Regarding Persecution of UOC
Information and Education Department of UOC – OCP News Service – 28/10/2023
Kyiv – Ukraine: Members of the European Parliament, Marcel de Graaff and Joachim Kuhs, have submitted a request to the European Commission, which is the principal executive body of the European Union, calling upon it to respond to the oppression of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church on the part of the state authorities of Ukraine. Marcel de Graaff has informed about this appeal on his page on the social network X, the Information and Education Department of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church reports with reference to the website Voice of Europe.
The members of the European Parliament note in their appeal that the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine (the Ukrainian parliament) is considering a complete ban on the UOC on the territory of Ukraine and is ‘coercing preachers and clergy to unite with other denominations’. They also underline that the UOC ‘has historically played a central role in the spiritual life of Ukrainian society’.
Given the current situation in the state-denominational relations in Ukraine, Marcel de Graaff and Joachim Kuhs ask the European Commission if it agrees that the Ukrainian authorities’ actions towards the UOC contradict the supremacy of the law and the Lisbon Treaty, which laid the foundations for the present set-up of the EU. In addition, they ask the Commission to inform whether it will call upon the authorities of Ukraine to abandon their intention to ban the UOC and whether Ukraine’s policy in the field of state-denominational relations is an obstacle to further negotiations on its EU membership.
Commenting on the appeal to the European Commission in his message on the network X, Marcel de Graaff expressed an opinion that ‘Ukraine violates the rule of law and human rights’ and said that ‘MEPs (members of the European Parliament – ed.) demand an immediate response’.
OCP News Service