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Zelensky: Ukraine to ban activities of religious organizations affiliated with Russia

During his nightly address, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky announced that the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine (NSDC) had instructed the government to submit a bill “on the impossibility of religious organizations affiliated with the centers of influence in the Russian Federation to operate in Ukraine” to the Verkhovna Rada.

According to Zelensky, the NSDC instructed the state service on ethnopolitics and freedom of conscience to conduct an examination of the charter of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC) “for the presence of church-canonical ties with the Moscow Patriarchate.”

The Security Council also ordered a check of whether religious organizations legally used the property located in the National Kyiv-Pechersk Historical and Cultural Reserve (on the territory of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra).

281 days of war. Zelensky’s nightly address.

In addition, Zelensky announced that Ukraine will intensify the fight against Russian security services in the Ukrainian church, and the state service for ethnopolitics will receive more powers.

“We will ensure for our state the fullness of independence. In particular, spiritual independence. We will never allow anyone to build an empire inside the Ukrainian soul,” said the president of Ukraine.

In May, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church declared full independence and autonomy from the Moscow Patriarchate. The UOC noted that it did not agree with the position of Patriarch Kirill, who actually supported the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Liturgical communication between the UOC and the Russian Orthodox Church remained intact.

On November 22, officers of the Security Service of Ukraine conducted searches on the territory of Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra. The SBU said that they were going to prevent “the lavra from being used as a cell of the ‘Russian world.’”

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