UN recognizes violation of rights of Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Moscow Patriarchate in Ukraine

Natalya Mihailova | 14 March 2016
Moscow, March 14, Interfax - Representatives of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, have reported the violation of the rights of Orthodox Christians in Western Ukraine.

They visited the Ternopol and Rovno regions of Ukraine, on January 28 through February 1, where representatives of the self-proclaimed Kiev Patriarchate made numerous attempts to seize by force churches of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate, a posting on the website of the UOC said.

Members of the UN monitoring mission reported instances of physical violence, or compulsion, aimed at forcing people to change their creed, the report says.

It also reports complaints by local residents about the inaction of the local authorities, with regard to the violation of their rights in relation to the intimidation and discrimination of believers.

The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights expressed concern with the fact that believers cannot pray in the places of worship they wish to, due to the obstructions.

The investigation of such cases is either ineffective, or not conducted at all, the office’s report says.

Previously, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia said that over 30 churches of the UOC had been overtaken by force, and no less than ten were under threat of attack by the dissenters and nationalists “presenting the developments as allegedly voluntary conversion of believers to the so-called Kiev Patriarchate.”

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