Changing the name of the church according to the constitution

On December 27, the Constitutional Court of Ukraine made a decision on the full name of religious organizations, according to which the amendment of Article 12 of the Law on “Freedom of Conscience and Religious Organizations” is consistent with the Constitution of Ukraine. In particular, it concerns the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate (UKP PM), which was to change its name to the Russian Orthodox Church in Ukraine (RKPU) after the creation of the Autonomous Orthodox Church of Ukraine (PKU) at the beginning of 2019, the Catholic Information Agency reported on Tuesday.

Decision of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine

The current court decision is a response to the request of 49 representatives of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine regarding the compatibility with the country’s constitution of amending the aforementioned Art. 12 of the Law “Freedom of Conscience and Religious Organizations” concerns the possible change of the name of religious organizations (communities) belonging to the structure of a religious organization (community) located outside of Ukraine in a country recognized by law. It has committed aggression against Ukraine and/or temporarily occupied part of its territory.

The Constitutional Court, in its plenary session on December 27, said the challenged law complies with the Ukrainian constitution. It forced the religious community to indicate their affiliation with the religious organization (community) of which it was a part by “compulsorily including the full legal name of this religious organization in its name.” This law introduced restrictions in wartime conditions on the movement of clergy, pastors and leaders of this organization, whose center is located “outside Ukraine in a country recognized by law in a country that is aggressively and/or temporarily occupying Ukraine. Territory.” This also applies to the deployment of the armed forces and other military units of Ukraine and the occupation of deployed locations.

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When adopting the document, the Constitutional Court of Ukraine took into account the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights, which stated, among other things: “The state requires a religious organization that wishes to register a name. This generally prevents believers and the public from being misled and can be distinguished from existing organizations, which freely use their name. Restricting the right to choose can be considered justified in principle.

The current ruling will help officially introduce the name of the Russian Orthodox Church in Ukraine and ban the “pro-Moscow” church in its current form, which has long been demanded by many politicians and social activists. In Ukraine.


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