"There is no mention of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church or the Russian Orthodox Church in the adopted law. But there are signs which help determine whether a Ukraine-based religious entity (practicing any religion or belief) is part of a Russian-based religious body and dependent on it. So, if the Moscow Patriarchate members have already recognized that the adopted law has relevance with them, they thereby recognize that the signs listed in the law have everything to do with them," Archbishop of Chernihiv and Nizhyn, Yevstratii (Zoria), wrote on social media, Censor.NET reports.
He noted that such signs include references to subordination in the Charter, voting membership of Ukrainian religious leaders in the governing bodies of Russian religious entities, binding decisions of the governing bodies of a Russian entity for its Ukrainian subsidiary.
"For a secular audience, I’ll draw an analogy of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church independence from the Russian Orthodox Church: let’s imagine the Queen of England greenlighting appointment of the president and prime minister of India, the Indian lawmakers sitting in Westminster and the ministers taking part in the work of the British government while the laws and the decisions of the British Parliament and the government are binding on India and all this being hidden behind the name of "Independent and Self-governing Republic of India" along with the British laws saying that this republic is a part of the UK, but has its headquarters in New Delhi. Who would have believed in such ‘independence’? But people still believe in the "independence of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church." And they would continue to believe if not for the new law," the Archbishop said.
He also called blasphemy comparison of the bill No. 5309 with the Third Reich’s obligation for Jews to have Star of Judah drawn on their clothes.
On Dec. 20, Ukraine's parliament passed a bill to rename the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate (UOC-MP). If a religious organization subject to this legislation fails to change its official name and does not apply for re-registration within four months after the law takes effect, its statute becomes void.