The agency notes that holding mass events during the period of martial law in the country is prohibited.
The head office of the Security Service of Ukraine in the Kyiv region emphasizes the prevention of public participation in meetings of religious communities for the transition from UPC MP to the OCU, because this, according to the SBU, “creates the prerequisites for destabilizing the socio-political situation in Kyiv and the region.”
Because of this, the law enforcement officers ask representatives of local self-government to conduct explanatory work regarding the transfer of heads of territorial communities or representatives of local authorities. This is stated in the letter of the Deputy Chief of the Main Department of the SBU in the city of Kyiv and the Kyiv region, Yury Palagniuk, dated September 7, to the address of the Darnytsk District State Administration, which is available LB.ua.
“In connection with the full-scale invasion of the Russian Federation into Ukraine, the process of the transition of communities from the jurisdiction of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church to the Orthodox Church of Ukraine was intensified by organizing meetings of citizens/communities/congregants and local residents of united territorial communities, during which the issue of appeals from of the religious community to the Primate of the OCU Metropolitan Epiphanius (Dumenka) with a request to accept the Omofor of the OCU with further submission of the prepared protocols and statutory documents to the state authorities,” the letter of the SBU reads.
The department notes that holding mass events during the period of validity of the Law of Ukraine “On the Introduction of a State of Emergency in Certain Regions of Ukraine” is prohibited.
In addition, according to the Security Service of Ukraine, the transition of a religious community to the OCU “is mostly accompanied by accusations of the illegality of the actions of one or another religious denomination, representatives of united territorial communities and state authorities, which in turn leads to physical clashes, radicalization and criminalization of transitional processes.” .
Also, the department believes that “the holding of such meetings can be used by representatives of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church to challenge actions in court,” and by the special services of the Russian Federation – “for accusations of oppression of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, inciting inter-religious enmity and using protest potential to destabilize the socio-political situation in the state.” .
“In view of the above, in order to prevent further aggravation of the religious situation, minimize possible negative consequences, consolidate society and prevent the use of protest potential by the aggressor country to destabilize the socio-political situation in the state under martial law, it is considered expedient to hold an appropriate explanatory work among employees of local executive bodies, representatives of local self-government bodies, leaders and heads of socio-political forces, representatives of religious denominations in order to prevent their involvement in activities that could lead to grave consequences,” the SBU said in a statement.
In a comment to journalists, the SBU rejected interference in religious processes in the state, noting that they act solely for national security reasons.
The Security Service of Ukraine in no way interferes in religious processes in the state, but acts exclusively for reasons of national security.
“At the same time, we perfectly understand that Russia does not stop trying to destabilize the socio-political situation in Ukraine and, in particular, uses the religious factor for this. Therefore, in the letter, which was sent by the Kyiv SBU Office to the district administrations of the capital, a number of aspects are outlined, which are used representatives of enemy special services for informational and subversive activities against Ukraine. The Security Service also paid attention to countering such hostile manifestations. Separately, we remind you that during martial law, any mass gatherings of people are prohibited, as this may pose a threat to their lives – due to the increased risk of missile attacks strikes and sabotage that the Russian Federation may commit. In order to prevent such crisis situations, as well as to shake the mood of Ukrainian society, which may have negative consequences during the war, the SBU monitors potential threats and informs the authorized structures,” the press service said in a comment SBU
At the same time, at the beginning of September, the deputy head of the Main Directorate of the SBU in the Kyiv region appealed to the Department of Culture of the Kyiv Regional State Administration with a request to provide copies of the protocols and statutory documents of the religious community Parish in honor of the Intercession of the Mother of God of the Boryspil Eparchy of the UOC v. Trebukhiv, Brovar district, Kyiv region, who expressed a desire to transfer to OCU. This is evidenced by another letter from the law enforcement officers, which was at the disposal of LB.ua.
Editor-in-chief Sonya Koshkina, commenting on the relevant SBU letters in her columnsrecalled that according to the Constitution, Ukraine is a secular state in which the secular and religious spheres are separated from each other.
She also noted that there is no precise definition in Ukrainian legislation of which measures are mass and which are not. At the same time, Koshkina emphasizes, religious communities, despite the martial law, are not prohibited from holding Sunday services or funerals for soldiers. The material also mentions the procession of the faithful of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church to the Independence Day, in which about 5 thousand people took part.
“In our realities, the issue of the church is more than about religion, rather, it is closer to geopolitics. After all, the Russian Orthodox Church is the creator and ideologist of the “Russian peace”, under whose banners the “combat Buryats” (here is a collective image) kill Ukrainians. How Vladimir Putin considers “the collapse of the USSR to be the main tragedy of the 20th century”, so Kyrylo Gundyaev is adamantly opposed to the independent Ukrainian church. First of all, because it is an important element of our identity. While the UOC MP – in its majority – works as a tool for promoting pro-Russian narratives – “brotherly nations “, “everything is not so clear-cut” and the like,” Koshkina writes.
In her opinion, the supreme bishops of the UOC MP are currently waiting for the results of the war to swear in the winner.
“Perhaps the war changed something in their minds, but before it, many of them openly called Putin and Russia here. And it is very surprising (to put it mildly) that the Security Service of Ukraine is now helping them. Especially against the background of President Zelensky’s statements, which accompanied by the dismissal of the previous head of the Service, Ivan Bakanov, that there are still many Kremlin agents, spies, and collaborators in the ranks of the Service. Loyalty to the Moscow Church is an excellent marker for their detection,” the journalist notes.
We will remind, currently, according to the survey, more than 50% of Ukrainians identify themselves believers of the OCU and only 4% enroll themselves in the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate.
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Source: Інформаційне Агентство УНІАН by religions.unian.ua.
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