Legalising Schism: The Verkhovna Rada Adopted a Law on Church Raiding

Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard


Today, on January 17th, the Verkhovna Rada adopted scandalous law No. 4128 on church raiding.

229 People’s Deputies voted in favour of it. The speaker Andrey Parubiy returned the draft law to the vote several times and as a result the law was adopted. The first vote gave only 223 positive votes.

As the correspondent of “Strana” reported from the Rada, according to the new version 2/3 of the members of a community (earlier was offered to make the decision the simple majority) have to vote “yes” in order to finalise the decision to switch [to the schismatic church – ed], and voters must personally sign the decision. The term “self-identification” isn’t present in the new draft law, and the definition of criteria for the membership of people in communities is left to the religious communities themselves.

The draft law stipulates a temporary ban on carrying out any actions with the property of the parish. Thus, upon transition of a parish it is impossible to sell, appropriate, or pawn the real estate of the parish. If upon transition it turns out that there is a part of the parish that doesn’t agree with such a transition, it​​ can form a new religious community and has the right to sign a contract on the alternating use of a temple.

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