U.S. Commission on Religious Freedom appeals to DESS over UOC situation

19 November 2023 14:10
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The emblem of USCIRF. Photo: the USCIRF website. The emblem of USCIRF. Photo: the USCIRF website.

Yelensky assured Americans that he had no intention of violating religious freedom in the country.

The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) has appealed to the State Ethnopolitics Service (DESS) over the persecution of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, reports “Voice of America”, explaining that this Commission is a separate U.S. government agency responsible for reviewing potential violations of religious freedom abroad and providing political recommendations to the President, Secretary of State, and Congress.

In response to USCIRF's letter, Yelensky assured Americans that draft law 8371 allegedly "does not aim to restrict freedom of conscience but rather prevent the indoctrination of the Ukrainian population through a religious centre that is part of the military-political complex of a state attempting to destroy Ukraine."

The Commission told “Voice of America” that they met with Ambassador to the U.S. Oksana Markarova, "who strongly advocated Ukraine's ability to defend its national security, considering Russia's unjust war and influence campaign in Ukraine".

The Commission expressed its understanding of the challenges facing Ukraine but "asked to ensure that the law, when passed, does not violate religious freedom".

"In the end, the Ukrainian government is obligated to ensure that the law is not aimed at law-abiding citizens because of their religious beliefs or affiliation or in any way hinders people from peacefully practising their religion together with others," USCIRF stated.

Earlier, the U.S. presidential candidate stated that Ukraine, using American taxpayers' money, bans the UOC.

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