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Mixed signals from Ukrainian government to Church following threat to legal status

Catholic World News - January 16, 2014

The Ukrainian government has sent mixed signals to the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church after it threatened to revoke the registration that allows the Eastern-rite body to operate legally.

The ministry of culture cited “systematic disregard for the law by some priests” at the anti-government Euromaidan protests that began in November. In response, Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk said that government threats would not intimidate the Church.

The director of the Ministry of Culture’s Department of Religious Affairs, Mykhailo Moshkola, reiterated that the priests had no right to conduct prayer services at the protests, according to the Religious Information Service of Ukraine.

President Viktor Yanukovych, however, said that “we need to relax the legislation requirements and ensure believers have an opportunity to pray where they wish.”

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