The Ukrainian foreign Ministry has urged Moscow to stop the persecution in Crimea believers and clergy of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine (PCU). The statement was made by Crimean officials, a decision on the demolition of the temple of ptsu in Yalta and Simferopol transfer of the temple to the control of the authorities of the Peninsula. Because of this, Ukraine has promised to seek the introduction of new international sanctions against Russia because of the violation of the religious freedoms of Crimean residents. In Crimea, meanwhile, have assured: on the Peninsula “nobody’s rights are not infringed”.Statements from the two Ukrainian ministries were a reaction to the refusal of the Supreme court to review the decision to transfer the Cathedral ptsu in Simferopol, in the management of the Ministry of property and land relations of the Republic of Crimea. The Supreme court refused to representatives of the PCU in addressing their complaints on the decisions of the lower courts on August 4, and shortly before that, the Crimean Archbishop of the diocese ptsu Clement received notice of the impending demolition of the only temple of the Ukrainian Church in Yalta.”If the bailiffs will start to execute this decision (on the transfer of the Cathedral in Simferopol, in the management of the Ministry of property and land relations.— “B”), it will mean the demise of the DNC in the Crimea”,— he said Clement in an interview with “Radio Liberty”.Crimean community ptsu has appealed to the European court of human rights with the complaint to actions of the Russian authorities.While this assistance is expressed primarily in official statements condemning Russia’s actions. “The Ministry of foreign Affairs of Ukraine condemns the eviction of the community ptsu from the Cathedral of the Holy equal to the apostles Prince Vladimir and Olga in Simferopol. The decision of the occupation authorities reflect a policy of systematic persecution of the Ukrainian Orthodox community in the temporarily occupied Crimea. The persecution of the Ukrainian Orthodox community in Crimea aimed to erase Ukrainian identity in the temporarily occupied territories and is part of the policy of oppression of all religious communities in the Crimea, beyond the control of Moscow”,— said in a statement the foreign Ministry of Ukraine.The same document mentions such facts “violations of religious freedoms of the Crimean people,” as the ban on the activities of “Jehovah’s Witnesses” (an organization recognized as extremist and banned in Russia), the number of followers which in the Crimea numbered about 8 thousand people, the penalties for missionary activity imposed on the Rabbi of the congregation of Messianic Jews and Alushta Imam. It is the persecution of Muslims, as stated in the statement of the foreign Ministry of Ukraine, became the most vivid example of the strangulation of religious liberty in the Peninsula. The Ministry of reintegration of the temporarily occupied territories made a statement. “Russia misappropriated and administers the property of the Crimean community ptsu than violates international law. Ukraine in cooperation with international partners is considering strengthening sanctions against individuals involved in the persecution of ptsu in the territory of temporarily occupied Crimea”,— quoted in the document words of the Deputy Minister Igor Yaremenko.To fight for ptsu in the Crimea, joined human rights defenders: several human rights groups issued a statement demanding the Russian authorities to stop interfering in the Affairs of religious communities in the Crimea. Expressed its position and representation of the President of Ukraine in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea (based in Kherson).”Russia wants Crimea was not Ukrainian Church, an important center of unity of Ukrainians. The office will take all possible measures and actions for protection of Ukrainian churches”,— promised the head of the representative office Anton Korynevych.Meanwhile, Senator from Crimea Sergey Tsekov assured “Kommersant” that on the Peninsula nobody is persecuted for religious reasons. “We do have one small branch of the DNC. And some great interest to him, Crimeans have no. Growth of the congregation is not there — and not due to the fact that someone is chasing something. Nobody touches it,” said Mr. Tsekov. He also added that in the Crimea “only fight with religious extremists threatening ethnic and religious harmony.”Chairman of the Committee on public diplomacy and international relations of the state Council of the Crimea Yuri HEMPEL told “Kommersant” that the Crimean and the Federal government have the same attitude to all faiths: to anybody not under pressure, nobody’s rights are not infringed. He advised the representatives of the Ukrainian authorities to come to Crimea and see for themselves in it.Matthew Shimanov, Kyiv, Ukraine; Vadim Nikiforov, Simferopol
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