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Russia Hate on Rise — But Not Against Jews

Bigotry and Violence Aimed at Gay Men and Central Asians by Paul Berger Just three weeks before the start of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, two dozen Russian reporters, photographers and cameramen squeezed into the spartan first-floor office of the Independent Press Center in Moscow, a five-minute walk from the capital’s main Orthodox church, […]

‘I know tomorrow will be my last day': Uncovering Soviet Jewry’s Holocaust experience

by Smadar Shir For years the Soviet Jewry’s Holocaust was a forbidden secret. Now, through letters found in archives, Yad Vashem is working to make the voices silenced behind the Iron Curtain heard   “To my dear brother, our city Priluki was taken over quite suddenly and very quickly by the German occupiers. My brother […]

Ban Ki-moon condemns persecution of gay people in Russia

The United Nations secretary-general has used a speech ahead of the Winter Olympics in Sochi to condemn attacks on the LGBT community, amid growing criticism of Russia’s so-called “gay propaganda” laws. Ban Ki-moon, addressing the IOC before Friday’s opening ceremony, highlighted the fact that the theme of the UN’s human rights day last December was “sport comes out against homophobia”. […]

Russia: Sochi Games Highlight Homophobic Violence

Human Rights Watch (Moscow) – The Russian authorities need to address a deteriorating situation of widespread and concerted abuse against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people and activists. The authorities’ failure to act and some officials’ homophobic comments expose LGBT people to further harassment and violence and embolden the attackers, Human Rights Watch research found. As […]

Russian Orthodox Church gets increasingly political – experts

by Lyudmila Alexandrova MOSCOW, February 03. /ITAR-TASS/. The Russian Orthodox Church has become more politicized, say experts as they look back on the five years the ROC has been led by its current head, the Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia Kirill. Although views of Kirill’s activities in that capacity differ, nobody calls in question […]

RUSSIA: Two “extremism” bans overturned – but bans, fines continue

By Victoria Arnold, Forum 18 News Service, and Geraldine Fagan, Forum 18 News Service A Krasnodar court has overturned a ban on a popular Russian translation of the Koran (though the court has still not issued the written ruling), while a Tver court has overturned a ban in Russia on the main Jehovah’s Witness international […]

American Jews provide social services in former Soviet Union

It’s cold in the former Soviet Union. With the temperature in Moscow standing at -25 degrees Celsius, many elderly Jews cannot even afford fuel to heat their homes. Between the harsh weather and the equally harsh economic climate, many are suffering, according to the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee. The JDC has just launched its […]

RUSSIA: Religion, schools and the right to choose

By Geraldine Fagan, Forum 18 News Service Russian state schools offer sharply different interpretations of the religion and ethics course introduced in September 2012, Forum 18 News Service notes in a comprehensive analysis of the current situation. In one Siberian school, only the Orthodox Culture module was offered as a headteacher claimed “we live in […]

Security Report: Tsarnaev Sought Insurgents Near 2014 Olympic Site

Read more at: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/security-report-tsarnaev-sought-insurgents-near-2014-olympic-site/2014/01/21/   When the Boston Marathon bombings occurred last April 15, most commentators split along two positions. The first position was that it was an act of foreign terrorism. The second, and this one grew louder and stronger, was that this was a vicious act by a “lone wolf” whose religion and ideology […]

Rights Groups Criticize Moscow’s Ban On U.S. Journalist

http://www.rferl.org/content/russia-satter-rights-groups-criticism/25232382.html Rights organizations have been criticizing Russia’s banning of a U.S. journalist from the country for five years. Reporters Without Borders said on January 16 that it was “shocked” by Moscow’s decision to ban David Satter for overstaying his visa “especially as the offense seems to have been the result of the foreign ministry’s own […]