Minister of Culture of Ukraine calls to change the Law “On the Freedom of Conscience and Religious Organizations"

Mykhaylo Kulynyak said about the necessity of legislative changes
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In order to improve the current legislation in the area of interethnic and interdenominational relations, the Ministry of Culture prepared alterations to the Law of Ukraine “On the Freedom of Conscience and Religious Organizations”.

So stated the Minister of Culture of Ukraine, Mykhaylo Kulynyak at the extended session of the Ministry collegium on the results of the activity of the last year and objectives for 2012 held on January 31 in the National Philharmonic of Ukraine, reports the Institute for Religious Freedom.

On 11 January, at the Parliamentary hearings on the ethnic-national policy of Ukraine, Mykhaylo Kulynyak stressed the necessity to change the current legislation.

According to the Minister, the new wording of the Law on the Freedom of Conscience is aimed to strengthen the legal basis of the freedom of religion.

He also noted that the main objective in the area of the church-state relations is to be the creation of favorable conditions for the realization of the spiritual mission of the church.

“It is crucial that the state should clearly define its obligations with respect to the church, the range of the powers within its capacity, which will make its policy on the church transparent and open to the public”, – said the Minister.

It will be recalled that the working group on the preparation of the draft laws in the area of the freedom of religion, set up by the Ministry of Culture in March, 2011 with the participation of representatives of the denominations, did not consider per se the content of the mentioned draft laws. The representatives of the denominations informed the Ministry’s leadership at once about the position of the Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations (UCCRO), which considers inexpedient to make hasty alterations to the effective Law in the present situation.

“The common position of the denominations in the raised issue has remained unchanged: without consensus about the proposed legislative changes , the development of the new wording of the Law of Ukraine «On the Freedom of Conscience and Religious Organizations» should be postponed”, – reads the address to the President passed by UCCRO on July 19, 2011.

In addition, one should note that the question of religion have been repeatedly specified in the Ministry’s reports and other governmental documents in the section on ethnical and national policy and national minorities.


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