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-Ukraine and the Proliferation of Soviet Era “Freedom of Worship”

by Dr. D ~ January 18th, 2014

The yellow on red version became a Soviet symb...

              (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Russian leaning government of President Yanukovich of Ukraine is threatening to outlaw a major Christian denomination for holding public services supporting the Western leaning political opposition.

In the process, Soviet era type restrictions on religious freedom are being supported that would allow worship services to be held only in officially designated churches or places of worship. Here’s the story from BosNewsLife:  

Ukraine’s government has threatened to outlaw the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (UGCC) for holding prayer services with opposition protesters.

Amid public pressure, President Viktor Yanukovich later pledged to respect religious rights. His office quoted him as saying "People must have a right to pray wherever they wish."
Yet his office acknowledged that "current legislation provides for the necessity of the official permission for a worship service unless it is held in a specially designated place."  …

The government threatened to outlaw the church with the Ministry of Culture saying its priests had been "breaking the law" by holding religious services outside a place of worship.
The church leader, Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk, defended the open air prayer and church services, comparing the threats to the Soviet era.

<Read the whole article>

Response: The old Communist Soviet Union claimed to have ‘Freedom of Worship’ secured in their constitution. While that sounds all well and good what it meant in reality was that religious teaching and worship was only legally allowed in officially designated churches and places of worship. Meanwhile the Communists closed most of the churches and outlawed the teaching of religion to anyone under 21 years of age.

The Russian leaning Ukrainian government of President Yanukovich is harkening back to that old era in an effort to put down all of his Western supporting political enemies by restricting the freedom of religion in the country. Basically Yanukovich is supporting the idea that everyone has a right to pray and worship as long as it is in an officially designated place of worship. Again, this political doctrine is called- “Freedom of Worship.”

Now it seems that such an understanding and limitation of religious freedom is becoming popular once more all around the world. You will find this idea of “Freedom of Worship’ being touted by the UN and supported in most Muslim dominated countries where severe restrictions are placed upon Christians and other faiths.

‘Freedom of Worship’  in the USA

While no one in the USA is trying to outlaw any churches or religions, many progressives are pushing for our constitutionally supported freedom of religion and conscience to be redefined as merely ‘Freedom of Worship’ within the four walls of a church or an official place of worship. It is one way to limit the power of conservative Christians who oppose much of the progressive social agenda. Make no mistake, they are making great headway in the opening of the 21st century especially through the efforts of President Obama and his administration and through judicial activism.

The Obama administration is currently attempting to make ‘Freedom of Worship’ a de facto law of the land through the implementation of the HHS Contraceptive Mandate. Only Churches and official places of worship are allowed religious exemptions to this executive order. Meanwhile allied Christian schools, organizations, and ministries are being forced to comply with the mandate even if it violates their core religious beliefs. Also Christian owned businesses are likewise expected to violate their religious convictions and conscience regardless of their faith and beliefs in response to this executive mandate.

Our only hope is that the US Supreme Court will eventually rule against this intrusion and limitation on religious liberty in America and allow our constitutionally guaranteed freedom of religion and conscience to continue as it has for over 200 years.              *Top

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