Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate accepts the annexation of Crimea by Russia - watch on -
Society21:02 Mar. 8, 2015

Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate accepts the annexation of Crimea by Russia

That's according to documents from June 2014 signed by the head of Ukrainian Orthodox Church

The Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate has accepted the annexation of Ukraine's Crimean peninsula by Russia, - that's according to a document signed by the head of the Church.

Journalists from Ukrainian news agency TSN have seen the documents, which were signed in the summer 2014. The papers state that the status of two Crimean dioceses were changed to come under the control of the Russian Federation.

Oleksandr Sagan, research worker of Religious Studies Department at the Institute of Philosophy: "According to changes made in statutes, judicially and de facto they admitted that the center of the Crimean diocese is located in the Crimean Republic which was written as being part of the Russian Federation. In that way that recognised the annexation of Crimea. I think that's real high treason."

Ukrainian lawyers consider the document to be evidence which could lead to the opening of a criminal case.

Ivan Bodnaruk, lawyer: "According to the Criminal Code of Ukraine, it can be qualified as high treason or illegal property acquisition. This crime carries imprisonment for 15 years. These people can be imprisoned."

The property of the two Ukrainian dioceses in Crimea has been handed over to the Russian Orthodox Church and they have already been added to the records of the Russian Federal Tax Service.

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