AN “UNWANTED CHURCH”: TERNOPIL AUTHORITIES LEVY TAXES ON ONLY ONE CHURCH: THE ORTHODOX

Pravoslavie.ru – 15/3/15

The Ternopil city council has decided to indicate an “unwanted” church, reports the press service of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (of the Moscow Patriarchate). According to its decision, all the property belonging to religious organizations are exempt from real estate tax. All but one.

The deputies have particularly stressed that the tax exemption does not refer to church buildings of the UOC MP.

This openly provocative and illegal decision has been made by deputies of the Ternopil city council at the session on March 3, 2015, thus showing disregard for the Ukrainian legislation which defines the equal treatment of all religions by the government, writes the website of UOC MP.

Commenting on the Ternopil city council’s decision, the city mayor Sergei Nadal has confirmed that all real property used for public worship is exempt from the real estate tax – all but the “churches of the Moscow Patriarchate”.

It should be noted that throughout the period of Ukraine independence, the Ternopil council has openly disregarded the constitutional right of the faithful to the establishment of new religious communities, granting in the regional administrative center only one site for the construction of a Ukrainian Orthodox church (UOC MP), the UOC’s message reads.

“The only Orthodox church in the city – the Cathedral of Holy Martyrs Faith, Hope, Charity and their Mother Sophia, Is being discriminated against in the area of taxation because of the city deputies’ decision. This situation is an example of outrageous discrimination on religious grounds, and requires a clear appraisal of the international human rights organizations.

“Some deputies of the Kiev city council had attempted to break the law and cynically discriminate against the Church, but the mayor of Kiev overruled this odious decision,” the message reads.

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