Measures on improving conditions for ministers of religion
The Cabinet of Ministers on 21 August passed a Resolution on improving procedure for entry into Ukraine of ministers of religion from other countries and proposed that parliament waive VAT on Bibles imported into the country. The changes will mean that foreign nationals and stateless persons coming to the country as ministers of religion will receive an “R” type visa with registration being for the period of the visa. If they arrive on a year’s multiple entry visa, they can thus stay in the country for the full year, not as now for 180 days.
The document also allows for ministers of religion to receive visas and registration for up to three years, with this having to be agreed in advance with the State Committee on Nationalities and Religion.
These changes were called for in an appeal from the All-Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations [the Council] to the Prime Minister on 13 July this year.
Following a meeting with the members of the Council, the Cabinet of Ministers has also drawn up and submitted a draft law on waiving VAT on the import of Bibles by religious organizations. According to the Deputy Prime Minister Oleksandr Turchynov, the “State should support the printing and import of Bibles which are largely given away free charge.
From information at: www.irs.in.ua
It is worth noting that the Prime Minister just yesterday, in an address to the World Congress of Ukrainians in Lviv, stated that her government “had begun fairly close dialogue with representatives of all denominations in Ukraine and considered it necessary for spiritual education to be introduced in all educational institutions”.