On January 11, the prosecutor's office of Zaporozhye region opened a criminal case against the local eparchy of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. Representatives of the UOC are accused of actions aimed at inciting religious enmity and hatred. This was reported by the press-service of the prosecutor’s office of Zaporozhye region.
By such actions, the prosecutor's office considered the "selective approach to the implementation of religious rites" and "showing preferences to those who were baptized at the UOC-MP", which allegedly offends the feelings of other citizens in connection with their religious beliefs.
In addition, Zaporozhye eparchy of the UOC, as well as representatives of public organization Radomir, is accused of "condemning the communication of representatives of the Church in the Ukrainian language".
Law enforcers saw a violation of the law in statements for "the unity of the Slavic Orthodox peoples under the spiritual guidance of the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC)". The prosecutor's office claims that among the parishioners of the churches "information about the need to unite Ukraine with Russia is disseminated", "the European direction of development of our state" and "ATO” are condemned, and "the aggressive actions of the Russian Federation towards Ukraine" are justified.
It is reported that in order to ensure a prompt and effective fact-finding, in view of the resonance of the event, an enquiry into this criminal proceeding was commissioned to the investigation department of the Office of the Security Service of Ukraine in Zaporozhye region.
Earlier, the director of the Institute for Policy Analysis and Management Ruslan Bortnik suggested that the attacks on the UOC are aimed at intimidating the clergy of the UOC in the run-up to the 2019 elections. Also, actions against the Church, according to the political expert, distract the society from the uncomfortable topic of corruption.