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    Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko signed into law a bill obliging the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate (UOC-MP) to change its name.

    Law on Renaming Ukrainian Orthodox Church Insane - Patriarch Kirill

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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia criticized the law adopted in Ukraine to rename the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, and said the document aimed to discriminate against and eventually destroy the canonical Church in Ukraine.

    “As you know, the law on the name change has been adopted. The law is completely insane — from the point of view of modern law and, again, modern principles of state relations with religious organizations,” the patriarch said at a meeting of the Supreme Church Council.

    “When a state invents names for a religious organization, and with a clear desire to discriminate against this organization and eventually destroy it, this is a violation of all rights, laws adopted, as they say, in a civilized society,” he said.

    READ MORE: Split in Ukraine's Orthodox Church Community Linked to Politics — Kremlin

    The patriarch also blasted the so-called unification council that was held in Kiev on December 15, claiming that the event legalized schism and brought together dissidents.

    "Complete failure of the so-called unifying council, no unification occurred, it was the dissidents who got united, their illegal, non-canonical legalization by Patriarch [Bartholomew], whose jurisdiction could not and did not extend to the Ukrainian land," the patriarch said at a meeting of the Supreme Council of the Russian Orthodox Church.

    Last week, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko signed into law a bill obliging the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate (UOC-MP) to change its name.

    Under the legislation, the UOC is obliged to change its name within four months and make the relevant amendments to its charter. The UOC earlier appealed to Poroshenko to veto the bill.

    The UOC-MP has also repeatedly reported of cases of attacks on its priests by nationalists and seizure of its churches by representatives of non-canonical religious structures.

     

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