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CRIMEA: “All our priests and nuns will have to leave by the 2014 year end”

Forum 18 Archive: CRIMEA: “All our priests and nuns will have to leave by the 2014 year end” – 3 November 2014 By Felix Corley, Forum 18 News Service Russia’s Federal Migration Service is not extending residence permits for foreign citizens who have been working for Crimean religious communities, leaving Simferopol’s Roman Catholic parish without […]

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 Lenta.ru, which analyzed according to faith and ethnicity the Forbes list for […]

Ukraine crisis deepens after rebel vote in east

(Reuters) – Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko called an emergency meeting of his security chiefs for Tuesday to discuss new ways of dealing with the separatist challenge in the east after rebel elections that were denounced by Kiev and the West. The rogue votes, which Kiev says Russia encouraged, could create a new “frozen conflict” in […]

Ukrainian Jews satisfied with far-right’s crash in elections

(JTA) – Representatives of Ukraine’s Jewish communities said they were pleased with the stinging defeat of nationalist candidates in parliamentary elections. In Sunday’s parliamentary elections – the first since the ouster of president Viktor Yanukovych in February in a revolution that triggered a territorial conflict with Russia – the far-right Svoboda party saw its take halved […]

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 […]

Moscow Tear Gas Attack Shows Rise of Anti-Semitism in Putin Era

Moscow Tear Gas Attack Shows Rise of Anti-Semitism in Putin Era – Forward.com By David E. Fishman On the second night of Rosh Hashanah, a group of five or six men disrupted a Jewish concert in the Great Hall of Moscow’s International Music House with a tear gas attack. A half-hour into the program, the […]

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 […]

Ukrainian official: Jews ‘among the best protectors of our country’

Ukrainian Jews have enriched their country and the actions of “stupid people or provocateurs” do not mean that all Ukrainians are anti-Semitic, a Ukrainian official said in response to reports to a failed firebombing of a Kiev synagogue immediately prior to Rosh Hashana. Anti-Semitism is “far worse” in many other European countries than it is […]

Russian lawyer wins Norwegian human rights prize

(Reuters) – A Norwegian human rights foundation gave its annual prize on Thursday to a Russian lawyer and the legal aid group he heads, for their work defending the right to fair trial. Pavel Chikov, 36, and the Agora group were selected for helping activists, bloggers, journalists and non-governmental organizations against the unlawful actions of […]