Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, chairman of the Department for External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate, commented on the decision adopted by the UN Human Rights Committee concerning the observance of the human rights of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
The observance of international obligations by Ukraine was a subject considered by the 132nd session of the Committee. In its final document “Concluding observations on the eighth periodic report of Ukraine”, concern is expressed “at reports of violence, intimidation and acts of vandalism of places of worship in connection with the process of transitioning churches and religious communities from the Ukrainian Orthodox Church to the newly established Orthodox Church of Ukraine” and at “the reported inaction of the police in such incidents and the lack of information on investigations conducted by the State party”. The UN Human Rights Committee stated that Ukraine as the State party should “guarantee the effective exercise of freedom of religion and belief, including by ensuring protection of places of worship against violence, intimidation and acts of vandalism; and ensure that all cases of violence are thoroughly and promptly investigated and sanctions”.
“The Russian Church welcomes the fact that the UN Human Rights Committee adopted such an objective decision on the situation of persecutions against the faithful of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church”. Metropolitan Hilarion stressed in his comments for the RIA news agency.
The archpastor expressed his hope that this verdict would attract the attention of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, as “indeed, an assurance still comes from there that churches voluntarily move over to schismatics from the ‘OCU’ while the faithful of the canonical Church invent stories about beatings and attacks”.