Minsk, May 19, Interfax - Metropolitan Pavel of Minsk and Zaslavsk, Patriarchal Exarch for All Belarus, has issued an address to Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko regarding the bills submitted to the Verkhovnaya Rada relating to the work of religious organizations.
"I am asking you on behalf of the Synod of the Belarusian Exarchate, the clergy and the numerous flock of the Belarusian Orthodox Church and the people of the Republic of Belarus as a guarantor of the observance of the Constitution of Ukraine, human rights and freedoms and a citizen of the country who are entrusted with running to protect the rights and freedom of religion of our brotherly people of Ukraine," Metropolitan Pavel said in his latter, which is available for viewing on the official website of the Belarusian Orthodox Church.
The head of the Belarusian Orthodox Church said he believes the adoption of Bill N4128 On Changes to the Law of Ukraine On Freedom of Conscience and Religious Organizations and Bill N4511 On the Special Status of Religious Organizations Whose Administrative Centers Are Located in a State Recognized by the Verkhovnaya Rada as an Aggressor State "will become a foundation for an encroachment on the constitutional rights and freedoms of millions of citizens of Ukraine and glaring discrimination against an overwhelming majority of the country has on its affiliation with the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, which is unprecedented in the life of modern civilized human society."
The metropolitan also said he believes that "if the said bills are adopted, it may put Ukraine in the chaos of unprecedented civil war based on religious persecution and repression against Ukrainian Orthodox faith."
According to earlier reports, Bills N4511 and N4128 were on the agenda of the parliament on Thursday to be heard in the first reading.
Representatives of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and believers protested the adoption of those laws in front of the Verkhovnaya Rada building on Thursday.