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Christian Churches in the Lviv region feel insulted by recent Jehovah’s Witness material

06.12.2006    source:
A picture in a Jehovah’s Witness publication “The End of false religion is nigh!” has angered the Churches who consider that the image not only offends, but also incites religious enmity

Representatives of Christian Churches in the Lviv region have addressed an open letter to Deputies of the Lviv City Council and Lviv Regional Council asking them to defend their parishioners’ religious sensibilities. 

The letter states that they have been prompted to this action by the “mass circulation by Jehovah’s Witnesses of a publication “The End of false religion is nigh!” which is being distributed as part of a worldwide campaign”.

“In this publication, which a large number of our parishioners have received from the Jehovah’s Witnesses, there is a picture which is deliberately offensive to their religious sensibilities.  Following from the actual text, there is a picture of a prostitute intended to symbolize the world system of religions who has supposedly sat herself upon the world political system in the image of an animal. What is extremely offensive to our parishioners is the fact that this prostitute is depicted exclusively against a background of Christian churches which is clear both from the architecture of the buildings depicted, and from a cross on the domes of one of the places of worship”.

“We consider that the authors of this publication have deliberately resorted to actions which not only offend the religious feelings of Christians, but which can be interpreted as incitement to religious enmity.

On the basis of the Constitution of Ukraine in accordance with which offence to citizens’ feelings over attitude to religion bears liability established in law, we call upon you, as God’s servants, who have been vested with the duty of carrying out state control over the observance of Ukrainian legislation on freedom of conscience and religious organizations. We consider that the heads of the “Religious organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Ukraine” have carried out deliberate actions which are directed against the dignity of Christians and must therefore be appropriately interpreted by the relevant state bodies”.

The open letter was signed by representatives of the Lviv Arch-eparchy of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, the Lviv Eparchy of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, the Lviv Eparchy of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Church and the department of the Lviv Arch-diocese of the Roman Catholic Church.

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