BOOK INVESTIGATING PERSECUTIONS OF UPTs COMES OUT IN MOSCOW
Interfax-Religiia, 30 March 2016
A book, "Victims of civil war," devoted to incidents of the last two years in Ukraine connected with attacks on church buildings and the rights of the Ukrainian Orthodox church, has been issued.
"The book summarizes with maximum fullness material which hitherto has not been presented in a singe publication either in Russia or abroad," says the book's author, a columnist of NG-Religiia, Vladislav Maltsev, who is quoted by the publication.
The work reflects data about the information
against the UPTs and it describes attacks on believers and their
buildings, including in the Donbass, and presents eye-witness
testimonies. (tr. by PDS, posted 31 March 2016)
RIGHTS ADVOCATES COUNT 127 CASES OF OPPRESSION OF UPTsMP IN TWO YEARS
RIA Novosti, 30 March 2016
More than 127 cases of crimes against the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow patriarchate [UPTsMP] have been counted by representatives of the international rights advocacy Group of Information on Crimes against Individuals, the coordinator of the group, Alexander Diukov, reported on Wednesday at a presentation of a report "Victims of civil war: persecution of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in the course of the conflict in Ukraine, 2014-1015" at the press center of the news agency Russia Today.
"The number of incidents of persecution collected in the book (report—ed.) is 127. Of these, 30 refer to shelling of church buildings in the zone of ATO [Anti-terrorism Operation] and the rest to occurrences outside the zone of military actions: 36 cases of attack in order to take over church buildings, 13 incidents of arson because of religious hatred, 27 kidnappings and attacks of clergymen, and one murder of a priest. In addition, the report identifies 21 incidents of pressure on the part of authorities," Diukov said
The author of the report, journalist Vladislav Maltsev, explained to reporters that the book contains only incidents of harassment that had "iron-clad" confirmations: photos and audio and video materials, and not just testimonies of eyewitnesses. The report is divided into six sections: violent seizures of houses of worship, arson of churches, shelling, attacks on priests (persecution on the part of SBU, terror of volunteer battalions, attacks of radicals, and murder of clergy), pressure on the part of governmental bodies (infringement of rights of UPTs, compulsion to switch jurisdictions), and defamation in news media.
In the opinion of rights advocates, a genuine medieval "witch-hunt" is going on in Ukraine, expressed in violent takeover or arson of churches and persecution of priests by security forces and radical groupings.
On 14--15 April 2016, the report will be presented in English in Vienna at a conference of OSCE. Diukov noted that now the work barely evokes international resonance; however he emphasized that the value of the material consists in reliable facts that will help in future study of the civil war in Ukraine, and public leaders, rights advocates, and representatives of the church will be able to cite this report in their activity. (tr. by PDS, posted 31 March 2016)
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