Ukraine’s security service wants to expand grounds for banning Moscow Patriarchate

The security service of Ukraine, or SBU, has proposed to the Verkhovna Rada, the parliament, that the list of grounds be expanded for banning religious organisations affiliated with the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate (UOC-MP).

The Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate, which still keeps close ties to Russia, is believed to have been conducive to Russian aggression against Ukraine.

A letter dated 28 September from SBU head Vasyl Malyuk to the Rada committee on humanitarian and information policy, obtained by, lists proposals for amending a blll that would effectively cease the operation of UOC-MP organisations.

In particular, the SBU proposes to expand the list of grounds provided for by law for issuing a court ban on the activities of religious organisations in Ukraine.

"The Russian Orthodox Church is not separated from the Russian state, and its leadership is in close cooperation with state authorities and security services, in fact performing the functions of civil servants in religion and implementing Russia's state policy through the means of power and influence available to them," the letter reads.

Orthodox priest who sold weapons to Russia detained in Ukraine

The SBU proposes that activities be terminated of religious organisations whose authorised representatives have been convicted of crimes against Ukrainian national security, violation of the equality of citizens, participation in terrorist acts, propaganda of war, violation of the laws and customs of war, genocide, and mercenarism.

In addition, it suggests that legal grounds be created for banning the activities in Ukraine of the Russian Orthodox Church and the UOC-MP itself.

The bill that the SBU proposed to amend was registered in the parliament on 5 October. It is believed that the majority of MPs will pass it.