Yelensky assures foreigners that all faiths are equal for the authorities
Viktor Yelensky believes that Ukrainian legislation on freedom of conscience is one of the most liberal in Europe.
Viktor Yelensky, the head of the Department for State Ethnic Policy, met with the representatives of the international military-Christian organization "Apostolat Militaire International" and assured them that all confessions are equal in the eyes of the Ukrainian authorities.
In particular, Yelensky met with the organization's president, Mathieu Borsboom, and the leader of the All-Ukrainian interfaith Christian military brotherhood, Serhiy Lysenko.
Yelensky acquainted the foreign guests with the features of the model of state-church relations and the dynamics of the religious situation in the country. He emphasized that Ukraine's hallmark is religious pluralism, where no religion dominates.
"The Ukrainian model of church relations is such that we do not have a main church or hierarchy of churches. Ukrainian legislation on freedom of conscience is one of the most liberal in Europe," said Yelensky.
According to him, religious organizations are equal before the law, and the voice of the few religious communities in the All-Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations is as loud as that of the churches uniting thousands of parishes.
"Despite the war, the state ensures religious freedom in Ukraine without any exceptions; the only threat to freedom of conscience is the Russian invasion. Where Russia comes, freedom ends, and repression begins, even more severe than those that existed in Soviet times," assured Yelensky.
He also informed the foreign guests about the Russian authorities' use of religion as a propaganda tool and the aggressor's attempts to open a "religious front" in Ukraine.
"Russia continues to use religion as a weapon to overcome resistance to aggression and discredit Ukraine," said the Ukrainian official.
"Apostolat Militaire International" (AMI) is an international military-Christian organization founded in 1921. AMI is a non-governmental organization that works to provide spiritual care for military personnel and their families. AMI has branches in more than 100 countries worldwide. In Ukraine, AMI has been operating since 1995.
As the UOJ reported earlier, Yelensky assured that the ban on the UOC would not violate the rights of its believers.