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RUSSIA: Two fines, two more sentences imminent, court-ordered book destructions

Two readers of Islamic theologian Said Nursi have been fined in Tatarstan for exercising their right to freedom of religion or belief, with sentences on a further two expected on 19 March, Forum 18 News Service has learnt. Although a similar criminal case in the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad has been abandoned, a criminal investigation […]

Ukrainian Catholics fear ‘new oppression’ after Russian takeover

By Jonathan Luxmoore Catholic News Service OXFORD, England (CNS) — A Ukrainian Catholic priest in Crimea said church members are alarmed and frightened by the Russian military occupation and fear their communities might be outlawed again if Russian rule becomes permanent. Father Mykhailo Milchakovskyi, a pastor in Kerch, Ukraine, described the atmosphere as tense because […]

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 […]

The Extremism and Xenophobia of Ukraine’s Svoboda (Freedom) Party

by Leonid Stonov, International Director August 2013 More than half a year has passed since the nationalist, right-wing, extremist party “Svoboda” (“Freedom”) became one of the main Ukrainian parties that crossed the parliamentary barrier and had a representative in a high position – vice-speaker of the Verkhovna Rada (Ukrainian Parliament). What has happened to Ukraine? […]

Shot Dagestan Rabbi in Stable Condition

The Times of Israel has reported that Ovadia Isakov, a Chabad rabbi, was in serious but stable condition after being shot by a suspected terrorist in Russia on Thursday. Isakov is the chief rabbi of Derbent, in the Republic of Dagestan. Russia’s Investigative Committee stated that Isakov’s overt Jewish identity “is among the possible motives investigators are […]

‘Children of Refuseniks Report from the Frontlines’ Podcast

Vox Tablet, a weekly podcast, recently published “The Children of Refuseniks Report From the Frontlines of Putin’s Russia: Journalists Masha Gessen, Miriam Elder, and Michael Idov talk about a changing Russia and their place in it.” Contributor Julia Barton speaks to each of them about why they’ve chosen to live and work in the place […]

Belarus: Activist Aliaksei Shchadrou Facing Jail for Helping the Homeless

Aliaksei Shchadrou is facing a two-year prison term in Belarus for acting on behalf of an unregistered religious organization. If jailed he will be a prisoner of conscience. Aliaksei Shchadrou, a 28-year-old devout Catholic, had been running a shelter for homeless people, with a prayer room, in his detached house in a village in the […]

UCSJ Attends Second Annual International Religious Freedom (IRF) Roundtable

On Thursday, June 27, 2013, UCSJ’s President, Larry Lerner, and Associate Director, Maria Weissman, attended the second annual International Religious Freedom (IRF) Roundtable event. The IRF is an informal alliance of over one hundred faith-based organizations, religious freedom advocates and NGOs. The event was held on Capitol Hill in the Cannon Caucus Room and was co-sponsored by Advocates […]

New Memorial Complex to Be Built at Babi Yar Massacre Site

The World Forum of Russian-speaking Jews (WFRJ) announced on Sunday that a new memorial complex will be built at Babi Yar, the Ukrainian site in which approximately 50,000 Jews were massacred by Nazis during the Holocaust, The Times of Israel reports.  WRFJ President Alexander Levin presented a model of the memorial, which will include a […]

Moscow Jewish Museum Depicts the ComplexHistory of Jews in Russia

From JSpace– The world’s largest and most expensive Jewish Museum opened to great fanfare in Russia late last year. And although it has only been open for less than six months, the Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center in Moscow has become a must-see for any visitors to the Russian capital. A high profile project, its […]