Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Oct 24, 2023 / 10:50 am
The Ukrainian Parliament this month advanced legislation widely seen as an attempt to ban an Orthodox church from the country over allegations that it is linked to Russia.
The Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine’s unicameral legislative body, passed the bill through its first reading on Thursday with 267 lawmakers in favor of the proposal and only 15 voting against it.
Legislation in the Rada generally must pass through three readings and then be signed by the country’s president to become law.
The law would forbid activities of religious organizations “that are affiliated with the centers of influence of a religious organization, the management center of which is located outside of Ukraine in a state that carries out armed aggression against Ukraine.” It is widely seen as targeting the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate (UOC).