On November 27, 23 MPs of Ukraine filed an application to the Ministry of Internal Affairs for the crime committed by state officials against UOC citizens and clergymen.
According to the MPs, there is a deliberate violation of the rights and freedoms of citizens, depending on their religious beliefs. Andrey Derkach, MP of Ukraine of 3-8th convocations, Candidate of Law, associate professor of Kiev Theological Academy and Seminary of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, reported this on his Facebook page.
“We believe that the rights and freedoms of citizens, as well as the clergy of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, are intentionally violated,” he wrote. “Among the facts cited are: surveillance by the Security Service of Ukraine of the bishops of the UOC, illegal detention at checkpoints when entering Ukraine, drawing up lists for the frontier service to exert pressure, force intrusions into the premises of the diocesan administrations, threats of SBU security officers and governors toward representatives of the Church, etc.”
Derkach stressed that these actions, which fall under Art. 161 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine, is a violation of the equality of citizens depending on their religious beliefs.
“A government that confuses its flags with God and God with its own opinion is doomed,” asserts the MP.
Earlier, at the opening of the Pokrov International Festival of Orthodox Cinema, Andrey Derkach, President of the festival, said that Ukraine is now facing persecution for faith alongside betrayal, temptation, and a desire to involve the Church in politics, but “the Lord gives tests we will bear and withstand. Every priest and every parish must remember they are not alone – millions of Orthodox are with them, God and Orthodox faith are with them, so they will be protected.”