21 December 2018, 10:58
Moscow Patriarchate compares the renaming of the UOC with the bandages of Jews under Hitler
Moscow, December 21, Interfax - The Verkhovnaya Rada's decision to rename the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC) incites hatred and will lead to religious confrontation, the Moscow Patriarchate said.
"The law is obviously aimed at inciting religious confrontation within the country and will lead to more instability in Ukrainian society. By its nature, it prompts associations with the times of the Third Reich when Jews were forced to wear special badges at all times to make people feel animosity against them and make it easier for the Nazi to look for objects to satisfy their hatred," Secretary of the Synodal Department for External Church Relations Archpriest Igor Yakimchuk told Interfax.
He was commenting on a bill passed by the Rada that would require the UOC to indicate its affiliation with the center in the "aggressor state" in its name.
The bill is at odds with international norms on religious freedom and is discriminatory toward the UOC, the largest religious organization in Ukraine, the priest said.
"[The document] was passed at the request of the Ukrainian schismatic leader Filaret Denisenko and is aimed at creating conditions for taking over the temples of the canonical Church," he said.
Nevertheless, "the current Ukrainian government is unlikely to be able to break the loyalty of the Orthodox Ukrainians to their home church with such dubious measures," the priest said.
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