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Kyiv Making Gains in Religious Dimension of the Ukrainian-Russian Conflict

Russian President Vladimir Putin is trying to use religion to advance an expansionist agenda. But an increasing number of believers in Ukraine appear to be rejecting the notion that Putin and the Russian Orthodox Church are the defenders of the true faith. Religion became a battleground in Ukraine long before the Euromaidan movement gained power […]

Christian-funded group preaches Israel immigration gospel to Ukraine refugees

Back in the late 1960s, among the thousands of protesters at a downtown New York mass rally for Soviet Jewry, a young Yechiel Eckstein sat on the ground, chanting, “One two three four, open up the Iron Door; five six seven eight, let our people emigrate.” The rabbis of his school, the Yeshiva University High […]

Fleeing civil war, thousands of Ukrainians take refuge in Israel

They streamed off the shuttle buses into Terminal One of Ben-Gurion Airport, amid loud Hebrew music and green-clad soldiers waving Israeli flags. Chatting in Russian, the new immigrants, many of them refugees from the ongoing civil war in Ukraine’s industrial east, arrived here seeking a new life in the Jewish state. More than 5,000 Ukrainian […]

RUSSIA: Kaliningrad and Moscow struggles for places of worship

By Victoria Arnold, Forum 18 News Service In Russia’s capital Moscow Hare Krishna devotees are appealing against a unilaterally terminated land lease and the denial of building permission for a temple by the authorities. “We will pursue both cases through every level of the courts, to be able to appeal to the European Court of […]

Discrimination, Disappearances and Exile of Leaders – The Desperate Situation of the Crimean Tatars since Russia’s Illegal Annexation of Crimea

In March 2014, Russia illegally took control over Crimea and annexed it to its territory after a heavily criticized referendum. Since then, the situation of the Crimean Tatars, the indigenous population of the peninsula who had already suffered a full-scale deportation under the Soviet Union in the 1940s, significantly worsened. They face serious and systemic […]

Russians accuse Kiev of hiding crimes against Jews

Jewish leaders from Odessa have disputed the reports of anti-Semitic attacks, stating that no such incidents had occurred and that they had not experienced any rise in anti-Semitism. Pushing back against accusations that it is inflating the prevalence of anti-Semitism in Ukraine as part of the conflict between the two countries, Russia last week asserted […]

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 […]

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 […]