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Crimea religious communities face persecution, legal restrictions

Since Russia’s annexation of Crimea in March, religious groups there — aside from the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate) — are facing persecution, and restrictions on their ministries. Religious communities in Crimea face an uncertain legal framework and are unsure of what laws must be observed. Catholics, Muslims and Ukrainian Orthodox of the Kyiv Patriarchate […]

Study analyzing ethnicity of Russia’s wealthiest ripped for singling out Jews

(JTA) — A member of Russia’s Human Rights Council slammed a news website that said that nearly a quarter of Russia’s top billionaires are Jews. Nikolai Svanidze of the council, a Kremlin-affiliated body with no executive powers, made the condemnation last week against, which analyzed according to faith and ethnicity the Forbes list for […]

CRIMEA: Guns, weapons, drugs – and religious literature

By Felix Corley, Forum 18 News Service Crimea’s acting Prime Minister Sergei Aksyonov has ordered a moratorium on raids, searches and literature confiscations until 1 January 2015. Before it there were many raids on libraries, schools, political organisations, Muslim homes, mosques and madrassahs, and Jehovah’s Witness Kingdom Halls, Forum 18 News Service notes. Fines for […]

Canada’s religious freedom ambassador accuses Russia of kidnapping Christians in Ukraine

Canada’s religious freedom ambassador is bound for Ukraine and says Russian President Vladimir Putin is orchestrating the persecution of Orthodox Christians, Catholics and Muslim Tatars. Andrew Bennett’s one-week, fact-finding mission begins Monday in Kyiv, where he meets religious leaders and government officials, among others. He is also expected to announce a package of Canadian government […]


  The dramatic decrease in Ukrainian anti-Semitism has not been reported in the press. Vladimir Putin and the Russian propaganda machine have depicted rampant anti-Semitism in Ukraine and has used this as one of the justifications for their invasion of Crimea and eastern Ukraine. One of the beneficial outcomes of the Maydan Revolution has been […]

CRIMEA: The unbearable burden of re-registration?

    CRIMEA: The unbearable burden of re-registration? By Felix Corley, Forum 18 News Service All 1,546 religious communities in Crimea which had state registration with the Ukrainian authorities are being required to re-register under Russian law by 1 January 2015 if they wish to retain legal status. A wide range of communities have complained […]

In Crimea, churches say Russia is placing new restrictions on them

by Peter Kenny Russian officials who seized control of Crimea from Ukraine are placing new restrictions on churches and Islamic institutions there, a Scandinavian news service in freedom of religion and belief reports. Since March, when Russian annexed Crimea places of worship and individuals of some faiths (including followers of Islam, Jehovah’s Witnesses and the […]

ECHR finds rights of Jehovah’s Witnesses violated in Russia

MOSCOW, June 26 (RAPSI, Oleg Panfilov) – The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) held Thursday that Russia violated the rights of members of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Moscow during armed police raid in 2006. The court found that Russia has violated Article 5 (Rights to liberty and security) and 9 (Freedom of thought, conscience and religion) […]

RUSSIA: Jehovah’s Witnesses and Muslims face up to six years’ imprisonment

By Victoria Arnold, Forum 18 News Service Four of the 16 Jehovah’s Witnesses on criminal trial in Taganrog and both the Muslim women whose criminal trial in the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk is imminent face up to six years’ imprisonment each if convicted. All have been accused of organising an “extremist” religious community banned by […]