The right to believe, to worship and witness
The right to change one’s belief or religion
The right to join together and express one’s belief
6 April 2023
UKRAINE: Kyiv Pechersk Lavra conflict, draft law, impact on freedom of religion or belief
The government revoked the 10-year-old 2013 agreement for the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (affiliated with the Moscow Patriarchate) to rent the state-owned Kyiv Pechersk Lavra (Monastery of the Caves), claiming some constructions had been built on the site illegally. The UOC did not fully comply with the 29 March deadline to leave. The Lavra's UOC abbot faces a criminal case and a court placed him under house arrest. The government backs a rival Orthodox jurisdiction. "In Ukraine, there will be only the Orthodox Church of Ukraine," a presidential aide declared.
2 February 2023
UKRAINE: Draft law better than others, freedom of religion or belief concerns remain
The Ukrainian government has produced a draft law prohibiting the operation of religious organisations affiliated with "centres of influence of religious organisations or associations with ruling centres" in Russia, but imposing an obligation on the state to prove any affiliation in court. The draft law in its present form raises freedom of religion or belief concerns. If adopted and implemented it may significantly change the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, which is historically and ecclesiastically linked to the Moscow Patriarchate.