» 07/08/2010, 00.00
Rostov: Pentecostal Church denied building permit because of Orthodox pressure
The Christ the Saviour Pentecostal Church was planning to build a place of worship in the Cossack village of Veshenskaia. A petition with only 20 signatures (out of a population of 10,000) was enough to get the Protestant Church labelled “morally corrupt”.
Moscow (AsiaNews) – Minorities continue to suffer from discrimination and have limits put on their right to religious freedom in Russia. Like Jehovah’s Witnesses, Evangelical Pentecostals are now having a rough time because of the rising influence of the Russian Orthodox Church on the country.
The complaint comes from the Slavic Centre for Justice and Law (SCJL). In an interview, lawyer Inna Zabrebina told the SCJL that the administration of Sholokhov (Rostov Province) refused to grant Christ the Saviour Pentecostal Church a permit to build a house of worship in the Cossack village of Veshenskaia. The decision was taken after a group of local Orthodox Christians led by Archpriest Vladimir Poliakov objected to the construction arguing, “we do not need more churches.”
For lawyer Zabrebina, local authorities acted unlawfully. “No doubt, representatives of the local government should pay attention to the opinion of residents of the district and heed it.” However,” a “refusal must be legislatively based.” In this case, “It is not clear why the administration of the district heeded these 20 Orthodox citizens, while in the Cossack village of Veshenskaia there are around 10,000 residents.”
“There have never been any complaints against the ‘Christ the Saviour’ Pentecostal Church of Christians of the Evangelical faith,” Ms Zabrebina said. “The land has been prepared in the required form, the parcel of land is the legal property of the KhVE Church, and it was purchased for the construction of a house of worship.”
In this case,” the lawyer added, “the decision to refuse the Church permission to construct a house of worship was made in favour of another religious organisation” on the basis of an “appeal signed, inter alia, by an Orthodox priest,” using “a confrontational tone, offensive to the Protestant Pentecostal Church which allegedly ‘corrupts people morally’."
This, she insisted, violates the constitution of the Russian Federation, which “guarantees the equality of rights without respect to religious affiliation.”
On such issues, Russian officials often violate the law or even ignore it, the lawyer said, not realising that they are breaking the law.
Council of Religious Experts threatens religious freedom
Christians, including some Orthodox, and Muslims have slammed the council set up within the Justice Ministry. A row breaks out over the intransigent views of its chairman, Aleksandr Dvorkin, and accusations of incompetence levelled at its members.
Medvedev steers religions toward young people, but blocks Jehovah's witnesses
The Russian president is involving the traditional confessions in programs on behalf of young people. The Kremlin wants to reinforce relations with the Orthodox, make the Patriarch of Moscow a point of reference for all religions, and attribute a strong political value to his position. Jehovah's Witnesses accused of social isolation.
Attack on Christians in Russian Caucasus
Three churches in Karachayevo-Cherkessia set on fire, but Muslims are being targeted too: Imam killed in Dagestan. Attempts to "destabilize the inter-religious peace."
Saving the monastery of Mor Gabriel, to guarantee a multicultural Turkey
Muslim leaders are trying to destroy it, and have sued the monastery for alleged proselytism. A spiritual and cultural center for the Syriac Orthodox, it still uses ancient Aramaic, the language spoken by Jesus. During the 1960's, at least 130,000 Syriacs lived in Tur Abdin. Today, there are only 3,000. The minority community hopes that the European Union will come to its defense with an appeal to Ankara.
In Astana, parliament is approving a law for "religious unfreedom"
The lower chamber has approved the text, which will soon go to the senate for final review. The authors of the law refuse to release the text. But human rights activists say that it contains restrictive measures to wipe out many religious groups that today are permitted. No interest in observations from the OSCE.
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul": A Christmas gift to survive winter
As Iraqi troops advance in the Nineveh Plain and Mosul, a new wave of refugees could overshadow the fate of other refugees who found hospitality in Kurdistan. People need kerosene, winter clothes, aid for children, and money for rent. The campaign AsiaNews launched two years ago is more urgent than ever. Give up a superfluous gift to offer refugees an essential gift for life.
Pastor of Amadiya: Mosul’s Christian refugees, torn between emergency aid and the longing to return home
P. Samir Youssef
In a letter Fr. Samir Youssef describes the situation of refugees, exiled from their home for more than two years. They are closely following the offensive to retake Mosul, although their homes and churches "are for the most part" burned or destroyed. With the arrival of winter there is a serve lack of heating oil, clothes, food and money to pay for their children’s school bus. An appeal to continue to support the AsiaNews campaign.
30/11/2016 CHINA - VATICAN
30/11/2016 CHINA - VATICAN
01/12/2016 CHINA - VATICAN
AsiaNews IS ALSO A MONTHLY!
AsiaNews monthly magazine (in Italian) is free.