Minister of Defense supports military chaplaincy in Ukraine


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On March 30 the Minister of Defense Mykhailo Ezhel expressed his support for military priests ministering in the army during a briefing in the House of Government, reports the Institute of Religious Freedom.

The minister also showed his support for intensive work in the patriotic education of young people.

It is necessary to notice that in the cooperation of the state with the religious community in spiritual care in the military Ukraine remains one of few countries where the institute of military chaplaincy is not regulated. In particular, the last International Conference of Military Chaplains held at the beginning of February in Madrid gathered 150 participants from 37 countries of the world where through different methods the activity of military chaplains is foreseen. And in the U.S. Army chaplains of 120 religious denominations minister the soldiers.

In Ukraine pastoral care of soldiers is carried out within the limits of the current legislation, but so far without the official status of military chaplains. However, since April 2009 the Council on Matters of Pastoral Care with the participation of representatives of seven confessions works as part the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine. This year the council began its preparation for the project Concept of Pastoral Care for the Military Forces of Ukraine.

Chaplains in the army celebrate divine services, perform baptisms, hear confessions, and give spiritual care to the military personnel and members of their families, and also organize the celebration of church holidays and revive churches on military territory.

Military chaplaincy in Ukraine aims to better satisfy the spiritual needs of military personnel and guarantee the constitutional right of the freedom of religion.

Source: UGCC