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Human rights in Ukraine 2011. VII. FREEDOM OF THOUGHT, CONSCIENCE AND RELIGION

22.03.2012

[1]

1. Overview

The situation in this area has not changed significantly. On the one hand, there is a relative freedom, especially in comparison with other FSU countries. On the other hand, there remain old problems associated partly with the old legislation[2].

The members of all denominations can sufficiently enjoy the freedom of religion. The state does not give anyone special privileges and does not impose significant restrictions on religion. This is due to the fact that the law stipulates that religious organizations may well exist without official registration.

Ukraine compares favorably with the FSU countries providing basic level of religious freedom. Even in spite of the outdated and sometimes strict laws on freedom of conscience and religious organizations, its shortcomings are largely compensated with mostly liberal administrative practice of the authorities. Although it is clear that because of the absence of clear legal guarantees of religious freedom the situation remains unstable and unpredictable and for the most part dependent on government policy.

The same opinion is also expressed in the reports of international institutions, such as the U.S. State Department[3].

There remain the old problems of complicated registration of religious organizations. On the average the registration of the statutes of these organizations, even widely known and recognized, can last from 9 to 18 months. This procedure also contains many violations of European standards, is very bureaucratized and is not clearly defined. However, the religious organizations put up with this, because after such registration there is practically no further control of their activities, except when the foreigners are involved.

However, the changing political situation brings about policy changes in this area. First of all it concerns certain preferences in the actions of authorities often associated with the dominant religion in this area. In particular, it is evident in land allocation for the construction of religious buildings and restitution of churches confiscated by Soviet authorities and so on. On the other hand, the authorities, mostly local ones, can raise difficulties for the development of other religions in favor of the dominant church. However, since such dominance is different in different areas, it is not easy to bring out specific trends within the country.

The analytical data show that the UOC-MP added over 200 religious buildings in 2010. The majority of them are leased premises. On the average it is twice as much than any other religious organization. However, this does not give grounds to say that public policy in general has a bias towards one religious organization.

The issue of discrimination on religious grounds is quite serious; however, the majority is ready to put up with this when it concerns only the public sphere of social life. The more so there are no legal instruments to combat discrimination at home.

According to statistics, as of January 1, 2011 the religious network in Ukraine consisted of 35,861 religious organizations which is 677 more than in 2009. At the same time 1884 religious communities have no legal status, that is, they function without registration, which is not mandatory. The registered religious organizations with legal status include 32,521 religious communities (581 more than in 2010), 88 (+3) centers and 274 (+9) administrations, 459 (+20) monasteries, 357 (+10) missions, 78 (+2) brotherhoods, and 200 (+1) religious educational institutions. The religious organizations operate 12,762 (+4) Sunday schools. 30,199 priests are going about affairs of churches and religious organizations in Ukraine. There are 386 (+9) religious periodicals is units. The religious organizations are using a total of 23 159 (+372) and adapted for religious worship buildings: 3,947 buildings have the status of architectural monuments and 7718 are premises adapted for prayer. According to statistics, 2403 (+5) religious buildings are under construction. For worship, religious and social activities the churches and religious organizations take on lease 6963 (+166) premises and buildings. If we compare the available number of registered religious organizations with the number of buildings and premises used by them, the churches and religious organizations in Ukraine are provided with religious buildings for worship only for 68%.

On the whole, the past trend persists: the number of religious organizations in western and central regions of the country is going up[4].

Following the Presidential Decree number 1085/2010 of December 9, 2010 “On the optimization of the system of central bodies of executive power” the State Committee on Religions was abolished. The newly created State Registration Service of Ukraine had to register religious organization. At the same time the functions of implementation of the state policy on religion were transferred to the competence of the reorganized Ministry of Culture of Ukraine. The decree was quite unexpected, and reorganization dragged on for months.

Under Article 14 of the Law on Freedom of Conscience and Religious Organizations registration of statutes (regulations) of religious organizations is in the competence of the state body for religious affairs, oblast, Kyiv and Sevastopol city state administrations, while in the Republic of Crimea it is the competence of the Government of the Republic of Crimea. In this way the Decree of the President of Ukraine No. 1085/2010 contradicted the law concerning the transfer of the function of registration of statutes (regulations) of religious organizations to the State Registration Service of Ukraine[5].

Only on April 6 the new regulations on the Ministry of Culture with updated functions were approved. These regulations — contrary to the provisions of Presidential Decree, but in accordance with the law — left the function of statutes’ registration to the Ministry of Culture and administrations. That is, these functions were not transferred to the registration service.

In October at the Ministry of Culture they created the Department of Religious Affairs and Nationalities.

In 2008–2010 under the guidance of the State Committee of Religious Affairs and Nationalities they continued working on the new draft Bill of Ukraine “On the Freedom of Conscience and Religious Organizations.” But the bill was not submitted to the Government for the following submission to the Parliament due to the fact that a number of denominations had expressed their objections to the bill.

On January 12, 2011 the Decree of the President of Ukraine No. 24/2011 “About the Action Plan for implementation of obligations and commitments of Ukraine resulting from its membership in the Council of Europe” ordered the Culture Ministry to submit in due course to the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine for the following submission to the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine a draft bill on amendments to the Law of Ukraine “On the Freedom of Conscience and Religious Organizations” (new version).

On February 17, 2011 Minister of Culture of Ukraine M. Kulyniak met the members of the All-Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations, which led to the decision on formation of a working group within the Ministry for preparation of bills on the freedom of conscience with the participation of the Secretariat of the All-Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations (AUCCRO).

On March 16 and April 8, 2011 the meeting of the said Working Group of the Ministry of Culture took place which produced the new approach intended to improve the legislation on the freedom of religion generally maintaining that there is no urgency in adopting a new redaction of the law on the freedom of conscience; however there remained a need for amended branch legislation regulating the activities of religious organizations in some areas of social life[6].

On April 21, 2011 the meeting of the President of Ukraine and All-Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations (AUCCRO) took place. It was the first meeting of Viktor Yanukovych as President with the religious leaders of Ukraine, because since 2010 this body was not convened.

On July 21 the All-Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations appealed to the President to postpone the development of a new redaction of the law on freedom of conscience and religious organizations. “In the absence of consensus on the proposed amendments at this stage the development of the new Law of Ukraine “On the Freedom of Conscience and Religious Organizations” should be delayed,” — read the statement adopted at the meeting. All in all this is due to stable and predictable current administrative practice of the law on freedom of conscience and religious organizations, as well as fears that any changes will limit the freedom of religion, as it happened in many FSU countries.

On June 30, 2011 the Parliament passed over the bill number 3347 on a moratorium on privatization of property intended for religious purposes. It took two years to reconsider the bill and it was finally supported by AUCCRO.

In April 2011 the Ministry of Defense approved the concept of Ministry in the Armed Forces of Ukraine[7]. According to the Order, the MOD is going to introduce the Institute of Military clergy (chaplains) in the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

2. Freedom to practice religion or belief

2.1. Establishment and activities of religious organizations

In our previous reports we gave a detailed account of the problems of legislation on registration of religious organizations. Nothing changed in 2010 and our estimate is fully consistent with the current situation.

However, during 2011 there were numerous cases of termination of religious organizations in court after actions brought by tax authorities under the Law on State Registration. These are cases of failure to submit their tax reports. However, this practice does not comply with the law on religious organizations, since it contains no such grounds for liquidation of the organization. This fact was also stressed by HACU. However, this practice persists.

2.2. The organization of peaceful religious assembly

The Law on the Freedom of Conscience and Religious Organizations — contrary to Article 39 of the Constitution — establishes the authorization procedure for peaceful religious assembly. In practice, the peaceful public religious events are fraught with more problems based on discrimination, intolerance, and arbitrary interpretation of the law.

Sumy

The scandal erupted on June 9 around the sports and music action “Youth for Healthy Lifestyle” on the Nezalezhnist Square. Its initiators were NGO “Sumy Initiative” and the Full Gospel Church “The Ark”. The action consisted of several parts: the first part included the competition of young rollers, skaters and bicyclists as a new stage of Sumy Extreme Style, it was followed by the rock concert featuring local bands as well as NLM band from the USA, and at the end American preacher David Pierce addressed the crowd. It was the last part that some Sumy citizens disliked. There erupted some minor conflicts that police controlled in due time.

But there were frictions among the Sumy citizens participating in the action and passers-by; therefore this issue was discussed during the meeting of the City Commission for promotion of the observance of legislation on freedom of conscience and religious organizations. Natalia Taranets, a member of that committee, maintained that the City Rada had neither a grievance against the Church “The Ark” nor the NGO. “At the same time, the precedents with various churches who make arrangements in the city center even when we reasonably do not recommend them to rally or advice on moving to another location or to choose another date,” she said and explained that at the next meeting of the Executive Committee of the Sumy City Rada they will consider the decision about prohibition of religious and educational rallies in the city center. It is known that the ban may cover the Nezalezhnist Square and Taras Shevchenko park. However, this decision does not comply with Article 39 of the Constitution. Asked whether the ban will affect cross processions regularly held in downtown, Natalia did not answer directly but said that during rallies there never occurred incidents, even on this past May 22, when there were simultaneous cross processions of the faithful of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Moscow Patriarchate to the temporary cross on Nezalezhnist Square and of the faithful of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Kyiv Patriarchate crossing the square and heading toward the monument to Shevchenko[8].

As a result, at a meeting of the Executive Committee of the Sumy City Rada on August 2 they passed a decision approving the list of places where one cannot hold public of religious and educational events. Now in Sumy there are only two places where the City Commission for promotion of the observance of legislation on freedom of conscience and religious organizations will allow religious communities to gather: summer stage of Kozhedub City Park and Theatre Square[9].

Odesa

On June 26 the Odesa Catholics for the first time in many years were not allowed to organize the traditional procession of the Body of God around their own cathedral. The icon-bearing procession with the Holy Gifts was banned by the District Administrative Court on the grounds of application of the City Hall. The ban was based on the formal pretext showing though of the city authorities for public disorders control on the streets of Odesa. The thing is that Catholics’ request to the City Rada was preceded by that of the local diocese of the UOC-MP to allow at the same time and place (including the environs of the Catholic cathedral) the procession “in honor of Orthodoxy” in Odesa. “We have been holding this procession for 7 years now in celebration of God’s Body and Blood of Christ. We never disturbed the peace,” said Bishop of Odesa-Simferopol diocese Bronislav Bernatsky. The representatives of Catholics suspected that the alternative procession was purposefully organized for their frustration. For some reason the Orthodox wanted to hold their procession near the Catholic Cathedral, although their church is two blocks farther, they stressed[10]. According to the “Katolytsky Krym”[11], the Berdychiv authorities also denied Roman Catholics to hold the procession celebrating the Body of God.

In August, local Odesa authorities once again prohibited the Roman Catholic cross procession. This procession took place for many years in the scope of the VI diocesan youth day. But this year, for the first time, the Odesa authorities have not issued a permit for such a procession and did nothing to block the street traffic. Therefore on their way to Cathedral the participants of the Youth Day silently proceeded along the sidewalk. Groups of young persons with priests, nuns and Odesa parishioners (over three hundred people) walked along the streets[12].

In Odesa, on the eve of Independence Day in August the concert of the Catholic priest and singer father Vitold Levytsky and Christian Choir “Quo Vadis” was interrupted. Although the program was approved by the City Department of Culture, during the event father Vitold was approached by a man in civil attire, who presented himself as MIA Colonel, and demanded to remove the priest from the scene. As a result the concert was interrupted and believers trying to avoid conflict with the authorities dispersed[13].

In October, again in Odesa, the Roman Catholics were forbidden to hold cross procession, in particular, to carry the relics around the block where the temple situated with cross procession, as required by religion[14].

Other cases

It took several months to plan the festival “God is always near” in Smila, Cherkasy Oblast. The organizers invited American evangelist Don Betts, Cherkasy Baptist Church choir, and music players. The city kept preparing for the festival in advance: advertising, sending invitations, and pasting bills. On Sunday, January 23, at 15:00 about 700 people gathered in the House of Culture. But it turned out that the entrance to the hall was closed. About 15:30 arrived the Deputy Mayor accompanied by the militia detachment and banned the festival; he motivated the authority’s decision by the fact that the place does not meet certain requirements. The festival organizers were forced to stop the program[15].

2.3. The rights of foreigners and stateless persons

The legislation goes on substantially restricting the freedom of worship for foreigners and stateless persons. It shows in the inability to establish religious organizations and restraints on preaching and other religious activities. In addition, these restrictions apply even to people permanently residing in Ukraine. The preaching by foreigners is permitted only at the official invitation of a registered religious organizations (although their registration is not mandatory) and permission from the authorities taking care of religious affairs. Absence of permit may entail administrative responsibility for foreigners (fine), and warning followed by possible forced dissolution for religious organizations.

With the liquidation of the State Committee for religious affairs, especially the first six months, it was difficult or even impossible for foreigners to get official approval of religious activities. In certain cases, it took many months to obtain an approval.

Since June 2011 the new procedure for issuing visas to enter Ukraine was introduced incurring displeasure of religious organizations. It restricted the rights of foreigners even more, because now the religious visa was issued only for employment in a religious organization and did not allow working without employment, and, contrary to established legislation, it required approval of the Ministry of Culture, and not an authority registering the statute of the religious organization[16].

On September 22 the Parliament passed the Law of Ukraine “On Legal Status of Foreigners and Stateless Persons”. The most important in the context of religious freedom are changes that involve simplification of visa procedures for foreign clergy. Thus, the legislators took into account the comments of the All-Ukrainian Council of Churches and religious organizations on these issues. According to part six of Article 4 of the Law, the foreign nationals and stateless persons will have the right to stay in Ukraine “to preach, perform religious rites or other canonical activities at the invitation of religious organizations.” Before the adoption of these amendments the Government Resolution No. 567 of June 1, 2011 stipulated that foreign priests could only be employed by religious organizations. The law allows the religious organizations to obtain consent at the place of registration of their statutes (i.e., oblasts, AR of Crimea, Kyiv and Sevastopol) and not to apply to the Ministry of Culture of Ukraine, as required by the above-mentioned government decree. According to Article 15 of the adopted law, the foreigners and stateless persons staying in Ukraine in connection with participation in the activities of religious organizations enter Ukraine and leave Ukraine with their passport documents and temporary residence permits. In the absence of such permit, there should be an appropriate visa or visa-free regime established with individual countries[17].

3. State and religious organizations:
principle of non-identification and neutrality

Adherence to these principles is one of the biggest problems in the administrative practice of the authorities, which is often based on backing of dominant local religions and discrimination against religious minorities. This is primarily due to the fact that the authorities fighting for electoral support always favor dominant religions. Obviously, this patronage informally makes it clear that the dominant religious organizations have more rights.

This is clearly shown by the examples of resolving property issues, including allocation of land for building of the houses of worship or the return of the religious property confiscated by Soviets. In addressing such issues, this commitment acquires a practical dimension. The positive decisions on these issues, with few exceptions, are made for the benefit of dominant religious organizations only. It should be noted that in this context the dominant religious organizations is the most prevalent organization in a particular area (oblast). Thus in each area different religious organizations dominate, usually the UOC-MP or UOC-KP.

In consequence, some religious organizations may be allocated a site for religious buildings, others may not. In certain cases, which have become widespread, the UOC-MP just captured sites for construction of religious buildings without conclusive legal documents. At the same time the authorities let illegal activities drift.

In particular, such a case was recorded in the Youth Park in Sviatoshyn district, Kyiv. The representatives of the UOC-MP communities explained that they ran into difficulties obtaining a site area without bribes and this was the only possible way to build a church. However, the public made a protest against the construction. In such cases the protesters were approached informally by a Security Service officer, who wondered why compromise the UOC-MP. Similar cases occurred in other parts of the city, for example, near the Church of the Dime. In all these cases the local authorities and law-enforcement agencies kept aloof from illegal activities of religious organization.

In 2010, there were cases of seizure of religious premises by other churches. It is often done with secret local administrative and law-enforcement support.

In February 2011, the Presidium pf the Political Council of the political party “Our Ukraine” urged President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych and Prime Minister Mykola Azarov to stop limiting religious freedom in the country. “We condemn the attack on the legitimate rights of believers of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Kyiv Patriarchate, numerous cases of violent and fraudulent seizure of churches of this denomination in favor of the Moscow Patriarchate, which occur at silent connivance and informal support of the authorities”, reads the statement. According to “Our Ukraine”, the Attorney General’s Office kept itself aloof from the facts of seizure of churches, particularly in the Village of Kamyanka, Telmanivsky Region, and Village Rozdolne, Starobeshivsky Region, Donetsk Oblast, misinforming the parliamentarians that such action contained no crime[18].

On February 15, 2011 the Donetsk District Administrative Court made a decision to take away the building of the church in the Village Kamyanka, Telmanivsky Region, Donetsk Oblast, from the community of UOC-KP, which had spent over 15 years restoring it. In the administrative proceedings the court declared invalid the order of the Donetsk Oblast State Administration of 09.02.1996 No. 64 on the transfer of the temple in the village of Kamyanka to the religious community of Ascension, UOC-KP[19]. The decision proceeded from te property suit of Ms. Varvara K., who said that only a few months ago she heard that in 1996 the church was transferred to the parish of the Kyiv Patriarchate. In fact, in 1996 the community received an unfinished project (the community members maintain that there was nothing but walls there), which the congregation has finished building at their own expense. She stated that her rights were violated because she lived in the Village of Kamyanka and was a parishioner of UOC-MP. The UOC-KP community members considered this ruling illegal and unjustified and appealed against the decision of the court. In their opinion, the court had no authority to conduct a hearing because the fact of fifteen-year lapse of action had been ignored. The court also balked at many significant facts of the case. For example, the UOC (MP) community with the same name was founded only in late December 2010 and therefore there were no reason to believe that in 1996 the decision violated any rights of the plaintiff. Earlier, in December 2010, unknown people tried to raid this church[20]. On December 6, 2010 the unknown people called a meeting in the Village Kamyanka “to put the church under omophor of Moscow Patriarchate.” In 2011 there were numerous cases of termination of religious organizations in court for claims of tax authorities under the Law on State Registration. Archbishop Sergei stressed that meeting was guarded by strong young men, who used force to prevent the participation of representatives of the Kyiv Patriarchate. Nevertheless, the Court of Appeal denied the community’s appeal[21].

In February 2011 the Simferopol City Rada allocated the site area to the Spiritual Directorate of Muslims of Crimea for construction of the Cathedral mosque on 22 Yaltynska Street, where the Crimean Muslims had been long asking to obtain a lot. Back in 2004, the Simferopol City Rada approved the location of the Cathedral mosque on 22 Yaltynska Street. The site area was allocated to the Spiritual Directorate of Muslims of Crimea. However, this decision was later revoked by Simferopol deputies of new convocation. The illegality of the decisions the City Rada forbidding the Crimean Muslims to build the Cathedral mosque on a site previously approved by local authorities was confirmed by court rulings. Since January 2008, the Crimean Muslims initiated a peaceful protest in the form of informational picket on 22 Yaltynska Street objecting to the actions of city deputies and requiring a site area for the mosque. At this place they put up tents and banners demanding to allocate site area. In the Crimea they launched the campaign “Each inhabitant of the Crimea brings one wall stone for the construction of Cathedral mosque in Simferopol.” Not only Muslims but other believers living in Crimea also supported this action. They collected about 173,000 stones[22].

In September 2011 the Sevastopol members again refused to restitute to Catholics the former Church of St. Clement, the centenary of which was marked this past November. For a long time these municipal premises accommodated the children’s movie theater Druzhba. Today the empty building is falling into decay. This conflict has been raging for 20 years now. “There is no reason to restitute the downtown historic building to Catholics in Sevastopol, because Catholicism always was a weapon against Orthodoxy,” opined Artem Maltsev, member of Sevastopol Communists faction, during the session of the Sevastopol City Rada. “During the Cold War Vatican inspired arms race and opposed the Soviet Union and Orthodoxy in particular. Following the collapse of the USSR, the Vatican and the Catholic Church started pressurizing in order to exclude Orthodoxy form independent Ukraine. In Western Ukraine the Catholic and Greek Catholic communities were used for the same purpose. In Sevastopol, there are no such opportunities. The local Catholic community is small. They say about 300 members, but only seven Catholics frequent the City Rada with their appeals. And this small Catholic community is trying to expand in Sevastopol. What for should the city indulge this minority community? Catholicism has always been a weapon against Orthodoxy. I remind you that about 80% of residents of the city-hero were baptized in the Orthodox Church,” concluded Artem Maltsev, deputy of the Sevastopol City Rada. The Roman Catholic community informed that they had been offered to buy it out or build new premises[23].

4. Recommendations

1. It is necessary to adjust Ukrainian legislation in accordance with the requirements of Articles 9 and 11 of the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms in the light of the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights. It is advisable to use the Guidelines for Review of Legislation Pertaining to Religion or Belief adopted by the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly and the Venice Commission in 2004[24].

2. In order to eliminate discriminatory administrative practices and conflicts between churches it is necessary to adopt clear legal provisions on the grounds, procedure and terms of returning church property. Also, it is necessary to develop a detailed plan for the scheduled restitution of religious property. If such property cannot be restotuted, it is necessary to allow for compensations, i. e. for erecting of the new places of worship or allocation of site areas.

3. The local authorities should review their enactments establishing discriminatory provisions, as well as additional illegal restrictions of freedom of religion concerning peaceful assemblies, rental of premises, site allocation and restitution of places of worship. The general principles of site area allocation for building houses of worship should be clearly outlined.

 

 

[1]  Prepared by Volodymyr Yavorsky, Executive Director of the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union.

[2]  See: the overview of freedom-of-religion legislation deficiencies in the Report of human rights organizations “Human Rights in Ukraine: 2009-2010” which is of current interest as well: http://helsinki.org.ua/index.php?id=1298305235.

[3]  July-December, 2010 “International Religious Freedom Report”, September 13, 2011, http://state.gov/g/drl/rls/irf/2010_5/index.htm

[4]  There are 35,800 religious organizatiobs 30,000 priests in Ukraune; official data, Institute of religious freedom, http://irs.in.ua/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=827%3A1&catid=34%3Aua&Itemid=61&lang=uk. See the more detailed estimation: “Religious network in Ukraine: present state and trends of development”. “Religion and government in Ukraine: problems of relations”, Analytical info for the Round table about “Public and confessions in Ukraine: their relations and trends of development”, February 8 2011 http://uceps.org/upload/prz_2011_Rlg_smll.pdf.

[5]  President V. Yanukovych liquidated the State Committee for Nationalities and Religions, Institute of Religious Freedom, http://irs.in.ua/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=754:1&catid=34:ua&Itemid=61

[6]  Olexandr Zayets. The topical problems of development of the legislation of Ukraine on the freedom of conscience and worship, 27.05.2011, Institute of Religious Freedom, http://irs.in.ua/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=872%3A1&catid=37%3Aart&Itemid=64&lang=uk.

[7]  Order of the Minister of Defense of Ukraine No. 220 from April 22, 2011. http://irs.in.ua/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=861:1&catid=63:va&Itemid=86.

[8]  In Sumy they intend to ban the downtown religious rallies, October 13 2011, RISU, http://risu.org.ua/ua/index/all_news/community/freedom_of_conscience/43132/.

[9]  In Sumy the Executive Committee banned downtown religious rallies, RISU, August 3 2011, http://risu.org.ua/ua/index/all_news/community/freedom_of_conscience/43636/

[10]  The Odesa Roman Catholics boil over official ban to hold the traditional procession celebrating the God’s Body, June 28, 2011, RISU, http://risu.org.ua/ua/index/all_news/state/church_state_relations/43075/.

[11]  See: http://crimeacatholic.info/

[12]  The Odesa authorities have once more prohibited Catholic cross procession intended to mark the 6th Eparchial Youth Day this time, August 23, 2011, RISU, http://risu.org.ua/ua/index/all_news/community/freedom_of_conscience/43964/

[13]  The US and Germany look into violation of Catholic’s rights in Odesa, RISU, September 5, 2011, http://risu.org.ua/ua/index/all_news/community/freedom_of_conscience/44185/.

[14]  The Odesa Catholics and Protestants are filled with indignation because of the policy of the new public authorities, October 18, 2011, RISU, http://risu.org.ua/ua/index/all_news/community/freedom_of_conscience/44912/.

[15]  The Smila authorities dispersed the Baptist festival, RISU, January 25 http://risu.org.ua/ua/index/all_news/state/church_state_relations/40366/2011.

[16]  The All-Ukrainian Council of Churches states further complication of visa procedures for foreign priests, September 7, 2011, Institute of Religious Freedom, http://irs.in.ua/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=915:1&catid=34:ua&Itemid=61.

[17]  The foreign priests will be able to get a temporary residence permit in Ukraine by a new Law, 26.09.2011, Institute of Religious Freedom, http://irs.in.ua/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=921&Itemid=61.

[18]  The Nasha Ukrayina condemns the limitation of religious freedom in the country, February 14, 2011, http://razom.org.ua/news/10971/.

[19]  You may find this decision in the Integrated Register of Court Rulings: http://reyestr.court.gov.ua/Review/14106001.

[20]  The UOC KP in Donetsk Oblast Appeal Court defend its right to the church in Kamyanka Village, Institute of Religious Freedom, 04.04.2011, http://irs.in.ua/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=839%3A1&catid=34%3Aua&Itemid=61&lang=uk.

[21]  See the appellate award in the Integrated Register of Court Decisions: http://reyestr.court.gov.ua/Review/15944840.

[22]  After many time-consuming appeals the Crimean Muslims were allotted a site area for construction of cathedral mosque in Simferopol, February 15, 2011, RISU, http://risu.org.ua/ua/index/all_news/other_confessions/islam/40741/.

[23]  Once again the Sevastopol deputies refused to restitute the former Catholic church to Catholics, September 19, 2011, RISU, http://risu.org.ua/ua/index/all_news/community/land_and_property_problems/44434/.

[24]  Freedom of thought, conscience and religion in Ukraine in the context of European standards observation. The Center for Law and Political Research “SiM”. — Kharkiv: Folio, 2005. The Internet address on the site of UHHRU: http://helsinki.org.ua/index.php?id=1137518398.

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