Document Library

Key Documents on the Ukrainian Orthodox Church

Open Letter to the President of the United Nations Security Council on Violations of Religious Freedom in Ukraine

On May 22, 2024, Amsterdam & Partners LLP sent the following letter to the current President the United Nations Security Council, detailing illegal attacks on members of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and imploring the UNSC to put the issue on the Council’s agenda for debate and examination.

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Submission to United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), April 23, 2024

Amsterdam & Partners LLP submitted this filing to the USCIRF, which presents specific evidence of attacks on freedom of religion against the Orthodox community of Ukraine, which meets all criteria for the country to be designated as a Country of Particular Concern by the US State Department.

Ukrainian translation can be downloaded here.

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Submission to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, April 15, 2025

Amsterdam & Partners LLP submitted this civil society filing on behalf of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church addressed to High Commissioner Volker Turk. Concerning draft legislation 8371, the submission argues that the law “would effectively ban the UOC. Once deprived of legal status in Ukraine, stripped of its property, and forbidden to engage in collective worship, the one of the largest pillars of Orthodoxy in Ukraine will simply be silenced.”

Ukrainian translation can be downloaded here.

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Statement by the Church of England against Ukraine’s Persecutory Law Aimed at Banning the UOC

The General Synod of the Church of England published a report titled “The War in Ukraine and the Challenge to International Order” on February 7, 2024. In this report, the Church of England concludes that much of Draft Law 8371 key terms are “vague, lack definition and are open to discriminatory interpretation in ways that violate international norms.”

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Report on Violations of Human Rights and Religious Freedom against UOC Members in Ukraine in 2023

Working with a team of Ukrainian lawyers and researchers, we have compiled close to 300 pages of evidence and testimonies of attacks on freedom of religion against members of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

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Legal Analysis of Draft Law 8371

Accompanying the White Paper, Amsterdam & Partners LLP has published a legal analysis of Draft Law 8371, which identifies all the numerous and varied failings of the bill to meet even the most minimal standards under international law regarding restrictions on religion.

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White Paper

The White Paper published by Amsterdam & Partners LLP on the Ukrainian government’s illegal attacks against the UOC can be downloaded below.

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United Nations Report on the Human Rights Situation in Ukraine 2023

This report issued by OHCHR on March 24, 2023 covers the human rights situation in Ukraine from 1 August 2022 to 31 January 2023. The authors note that the OHCHR is “concerned that the State’s activities targeting the UOC could be discriminatory.” The report also makes clear that “leaders of the UOC criticized the actions of Russian Federation and declared the cutting of organizational ties with the Russian Orthodox Church. These decisions of the UOC were later formalized through changing its charter.”

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International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

Freedom to manifest one’s religion or beliefs may be subject only to such limitations as are prescribed by law and are necessary to protect public safety, order, health, or morals or the fundamental rights and freedoms of others.

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Open Letter Responding to the Law and Liberty Trust

A report circulating Washington DC published by the Law and Liberty Trust contains deeply misleading and factually inaccurate justifications for the Ukrainian government to indiscriminately ban the UOC and violate religious freedoms. This open letter debunks some of the core claims and reminds lawmakers that the leadership of the UOC is firmly aligned with the national interests of a sovereign Ukraine and has completely separated from the Moscow Patriarchy.

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Open Letter to President Joe Biden

“There is no conceivable way the prohibition of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church is a necessary or proportionate act. Instead, it is an overly punitive attack that will cause serious harm to Orthodox Ukrainians,” Robert Amsterdam writes to President Joe Biden.

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