Moscow, February 18, Interfax - The authorities' demands to urgent change the name of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church under the recently adopted law contradict the text of this document, the legal department of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church said.
According to earlier reports, the Verkhovnaya Rada on December 20 adopted amendments according to which a religious organization with a center in the "aggressor state" is obligated to reflect its belonging to a religious organization outside Ukraine in its name.
In the meantime, the legal department of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church said on Friday that the adopted law gives at least four months from the day of entry into force of the law, i.e., at least until April 26, 2019 to make changes to the name, and that is on condition that every religious organization receives written notification stating that it needs to make changes to its charter within three months.
In order for that to happen, the process of receiving relevant official notifications was to start on January 26, but it has not massively begun yet, the legal department of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church said in comments posted on its website.
"Therefore, any demands made by bodies of state authority or local self-governance bodies to urgently change official names and restrictions of the rights of religious organizations of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church associated with that are illegal and they are not based on the requirements of the law," the document said.
All organizational issues associated with the implementation of the law are being studied in a centralized way, specifically, consultations, meetings and other events attended by the authorities, lawyers, clergymen and representatives of other confessions are being conducted, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church said.
"After specific mechanisms on all issues relating to the observance of the law are determined, it will be reported," the comments said.
The legal department of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church calls on all bodies of state authority "not to create artificial obstacles in the work of religious organizations of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, but act in strict accordance with the requirements of the law and other acts of the current Ukrainian legislation, without forgetting about the requirement of reasonableness, justice and tolerance."