At its meeting on 1 December, Ukraine’s National Security and Defence Council (NSDC) instructed the Cabinet of Ministers to propose that the Verkhovna Rada (Ukrainian Parliament) institute a ban on the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate (UOC-MP), and also initiated a review of the legality of the UOC-MP’s presence at the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra (Monastery of the Caves).
Source: President Zelenskyy’s nightly video address
Quote: "A meeting of the National Security and Defence Council was held today: a meeting at which we considered numerous instances of links between certain religious circles in Ukraine and the aggressor state."
Details: First, the NSDC instructed the government to submit a draft law to the Verkhovna Rada on banning religious organisations affiliated with Russian-based centres of influence from operating in Ukraine.
Second, the State Service of Ukraine for Ethnopolitics and Freedom of Conscience has been instructed to oversee a religious analysis of the Statute governing the Ukrainian Orthodox Church to establish any presence of a church-canonical link with the Moscow Patriarchate and, if necessary, to take measures provided for by law.
Third, it must be verified whether legal grounds exist for religious organisations to use the property located on the grounds of the National Kyiv-Pechersk Historical and Cultural Reserve (Monastery of the Caves), and whether such organisations are complying with the conditions of the use of said property.
Fourth, all agencies responsible for ensuring national security are to step up their operations with regard to identifying and countering subversive activities being undertaken by Russian secret services within the religious domain in Ukraine, and to apply personal sanctions; the names [of those sanctioned] will shortly be made public.
Fifth, Zelenskyy said that it is necessary to upgrade the status of the State Service for Ethnopolitics and Freedom of Conscience and to strengthen its capabilities.
"This agency will be reformed so that it can truly protect the rights and legitimate interests of Ukrainians and the state," the president said.
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