Religious leaders criticize attempts to divide society on language grounds
The All-Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations has addressed a letter to the Speaker of Parliament and MPs regarding the draft Law on the Principles of Language Policy. It states that:
“In accordance with a decision of the Secretariat of the All-Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations we must express our concern at the situation which has developed as a result of the inclusion on the agenda for consideration by the Verkhovna Rada of draft laws which harm the normal constitutional functioning of the Ukrainian language. This is mainly the draft Law on the Principles of State Language Policy, registration No. 9073, initiated by MPs S. Kivalov and V. Kolisnichenko.
It is with regret and sadness that we are forced to note that before every important election in our country some politicians try to exploit issues which jeopardize the unity of the Ukrainian people and spread division and confusion in the state-public organism. It is frustrating that the object of political manipulation should be such elements which are sacrosanct for State independence and stability as language, history and religion.
We have already turned to the government and public a number of times on this subject, for example, in 2006 in the form of a Special Appeal regarding the Functioning of Languages and Threats of Separatism. Most unfortunately, however, the Verkhovna Rada has again before the elections become a platform for disseminating threats to our statehood. Is it really so difficult, for the sake of the safety of our State existence to remove this issue to beyond political discourse?
Esteemed Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada and MPs, we turn to you as State figures delegated by the People of Ukraine with the great right and responsibility to be the body of the highest representative structure of our country. We ask you to not submit for consideration in the session hall of the Verkhovna Rada the above-mentioned draft laws in view of the threat they posed to public peace and harmony, the threat to the culture and state autonomy of the Ukrainian people, and even to the very existence of the Ukrainian state.
The original includes an appendix with the appeal from 2006.