Concerning the Religious Communities' Right to Change Jurisdiction
In view of the fact that a number of applications have recently been circulated containing reservations about the promotion of local self-government bodies to religious communities during their voluntary change of their jurisdiction, with the blessing of the Blessed Metropolitan of Kyiv and all Ukraine Epiphany, we hereby announce the following.
The right to voluntarily change the canonical and jurisdictional subject matter of a religious community is guaranteed by the legislation of Ukraine. Such a right shall be exercised at a general meeting of the religious community. Membership in a religious community is determined by itself and cannot be restricted against the will of the community.
Article 29 of the Law of Ukraine on Freedom of Conscience and Religious Organizations empowers local self-government bodies to promote the exercise of their rights by religious communities: “Ensuring the implementation and observance of legislation on freedom of conscience, ideology, religion and religious organizations is carried out within the competence of the central executive bodies, implement state policy in the sphere of religion, other central executive bodies, prosecutor's offices, local executive bodies and an authority and local government. "
In connection with the aforementioned, the Kyiv Metropolitanate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Orthodox Church of Ukraine) is concerned by statements that state that it is possible for local governments to assist religious communities in exercising their right to change their jurisdictional jurisdiction. Such statements are non-constructive and add stress.
Therefore, we appeal to local authorities, local governments, representatives of the National Police and other law enforcement agencies in the field in accordance with the competence, if necessary, to ensure for religious communities the exercise of their legal rights.