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    Zelensky signs NSDC decision to ban religious organizations affiliated with Russia

    President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, has signed the decision of the National Security and Defense Council (NSDC), which initiates the ban on religious organizations affiliated with Russia.

    This is stated in Decree No. 820/2022 of December 1, 2022 of the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky, published on the website of the President’s Office.

    “The decision of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine dated December 1, 2022 ‘On certain aspects of the activities of religious organizations in Ukraine and the application of personal special economic and other restrictive measures (sanctions)  shall be implemented,” the document says.

    Having considered the activities of religious organizations on the territory of Ukraine in the conditions of Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine, with the aim of ensuring spiritual independence, preventing a split in society on religious grounds, promoting the consolidation of Ukrainian society and protecting national interests, the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine decided to instruct the Cabinet of Ministers to introduce in a two-month deadline for consideration by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine of a draft law on preventing the activity in Ukraine of religious organizations affiliated with centers of influence in the Russian Federation in accordance with the norms of international law in the field of freedom of conscience and Ukraine’s obligations in connection with joining the Council of Europe.”

    In addition, the Cabinet of Ministers shall urgently resolve the issue of listing the State Service of Ukraine for Ethnopolitics and Freedom of Conscience (SESS) as part of the central bodies of executive power, whose activities are directed and coordinated directly by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine;

    It is also planned to resolve the issue of functional subordination of the structural divisions of local state administrations to the State Service of Ukraine for Ethnopolitics and Freedom of Conscience, the powers of which include the implementation of the right to freedom of conscience and religion, the activities of religious organizations;

    Also, the Cabinet of Ministers must ensure, within a two-month period, verification of the existence of legal grounds and compliance with the conditions of use by religious organizations of the property located on the territory of the National Kyiv-Pechersk Historical and Cultural Reserve.

    According to the decision of the National Security Council, the State Service of Ukraine for Ethnopolitics and Freedom of Conscience must ensure within a two-month period, in accordance with the Law of Ukraine “On Freedom of Conscience and Religious Organizations”, a religious examination of the Statute on the Administration of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church to check whether there is any  church-canonical connection with the Moscow Patriarchate and, if necessary, take legal measures.

    Also, the Security Service of Ukraine, together with the National Police of Ukraine and other state bodies whose competence includes issues in the field of ensuring national security, was ordered by the NSDC to “intensify measures to detect and counter the subversive activities of Russian special services in Ukraine’s religious circles.”

    The National Security Council also supported the SBU’s proposals regarding the application of personal special economic and other restrictive measures (sanctions) and applied personal special economic sanctions to individuals.

    The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine together with the Security Service of Ukraine and the National Bank of Ukraine must ensure the implementation and monitoring of the effectiveness of personal special economic and other sanctions.

     

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