Ukraine's parliament passes draft law on change of denomination to new church

16:20, 17 January 2019
Ukraine
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Photo from UNIAN

The Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine's parliament, has passed bill No. 4128-d to amend certain laws of Ukraine regarding the subordination (denomination) of religious organizations and the procedure of state registration of religious organizations with the status of legal entities.

The relevant decision was backed by 229 lawmakers registered in the session hall, according to an UNIAN correspondent.

The motion was supported by 86 members of the Petro Poroshenko Bloc faction, 65 from the People's Front, 16 from Samopomich, 17 from the Radical Party faction, nine from the Batkivshchyna Party faction, and five from the Volya Narodu group (People's Will). Thirty votes came from non-aligned Members of Parliament.

The Opposition Bloc parliamentary faction did not vote at all. There was only one vote in favor of the bill from the Vidrodzhennya (Revival) group.

Read alsoUkraine lawmaker: Bill on change of denomination to new church fully complies with ECHR decision

The draft law amends the Law on Freedom of Conscience and Religious Organizations, which determines that religious communities are free to determine at their own discretion the manner in which new members are admitted and existing members are excluded.

The draft law stipulates a decision to change subordination (denomination) and introduce relevant amendments or changes to the statute shall be approved by at least two-thirds of its authorized members of a religious community at a general meeting.

After the religious community decides to change its subordination, a moratorium on the alienation of its property is imposed until this procedure is legally completed.

The draft law provides that members of the community who disagree with the decision to change its subordination have the right to form a new community and conclude an agreement on the use of religious buildings and property with their owner (user).

The final provisions of the draft law stipulate that if a religious organization decides to change its subordination, it should inform the central executive body that implements state policy in the sphere of religion, or regional, Kyiv and Sevastopol city administrations, and the Council of Ministers of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, which in turn shall announce the decision on their official websites.

At the same time, the statutes (regulations) of religious organizations must be amended in compliance with this law within a year from the date of its entry into force.

It shall become effective the next day after its publication.

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