Over half Ukrainians support ban on Moscow Patriarchate - poll

Over half Ukrainians support ban on Moscow Patriarchate - poll

Ukrinform
Almost 80% of Ukrainians believe that the government should intervene to one degree or another in the operations of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (in unity with the Moscow Patriarchate). Some 54% believe that this church should be completely banned in Ukraine.

That’s according to a poll run across Ukraine by Kyiv International Institute of Sociology (KIIS) on December 4-27, Ukrinform reports.

As noted in KMIS, during the interview, respondents were asked questions about the appropriate policy of the authorities regarding the UOC MP, being offered three options to choose from: from a complete ban to complete non-interference (with the investigation of only certain alleged offenses). A "compromise" position was also proposed, where the church should not be banned completely, but supervision and control by government should be established over it.

Read also: Constitutional Court declares law to rename UOC-MP constitutional

"78% of Ukrainians believe that the government should intervene in one way or another in the activities of the UOC-MP. In particular, among them, 54% believe that this church should be completely banned in Ukraine. Another 24% are in favor of a somewhat ‘softer’ approach , which does not provide for a full ban, but lays down the establishment of government control and supervision," the statement says.

At the same time, only 12% of respondents believe that nothing should be done in this regard, and that only certain possible cases of offenses should be investigated.

At the same time, according to sociologists, in all regions of Ukraine (from 82% in the West to 72% in the East), the majority of the population supports a proactive position of the government regarding the activities of the UOC MP. Even in the south and east, only 16% and 14%, respectively, speak for non-interference. However, in the south and east, there are slightly fewer people who are in favor of a complete ban (48% and 41%).

According to the survey data, among Russian-speaking Ukrainians, support for the proactive position of the authorities regarding the UOC MP, although somewhat lower, is also significant – at 68% (including 44% who are in favor of a complete ban on this church). For comparison: among bilingual Ukrainians, 52% are in favor of a complete ban on the UOC MP, 28% are in favor of state supervision and control; among Ukrainian speakers – it’s 60% and 23%, respectively.

As reported, on December 27, the Constitutional Court recognized as constitutional the law "On Freedom of Conscience and Religious Organizations", which provides for the renaming of the UOC MP. On December 20, 2018, the Verkhovna Rada adopted a law which stipulates that a religious organization whose decision-making center is located in an aggressor country must indicate the full statutory name of its religious center in its title. Thus, the law obliges the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate) to indicate its affiliation with the Russian Orthodox Church in its name.

Earlier, a number of regional councils appealed to the top leadership of the state regarding the ban of the UOC MP.

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