Russland: Round Table ‘Violation of Believers’ Rights in Ukraine’On 24 January 2019, a multimedia round table ‘Violation of Believers’ Rights in Ukraine’ organized by the Russian Association for the Defense of Religious Freedom took place at the International multimedia press centre MIA ‘Russia Today.” Among those attending were Archpriest Nikolai Balashov, deputy chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations, and Mr. Vakhtang Kipshidze, deputy chairman of the Synodal Department for Church’s Relations with Society and Mass Media. The Report “Church Issue in Ukraine: From Schism to Catastrophe’ prepared by the Russian Association for the Defense of Religious Freedom and the Moscow Bureau for Human Rights was presented and discussed.
Also discussed were expert comments on the Law of Ukraine № 2662-VIII of 20 December 2018 on amendments to Article 12 of the Law of Ukraine on Freedom of Conscience and Religious Organizations. It is planned to translate the Report and the comments into English and send it to the OSCE Office for democratic institutions and human rights, the UN Human Rights Committee, the Council of Europe, international human rights and non-governmental organizations. Discussed at the Round Table were also topical issues of monitoring the violations of rights and freedoms of believers and of the interference of states into the affairs of religious organizations and communities.
Representatives of public, religious and human rights organizations expressed their unanimous support to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church that is being subjected to discrimination and unprecedented pressure from the authorities. (© 1997—2018 The Russian Orthodox Church. Department for External Church Relations, www.mospat.ru, 24. Januar 2019)