Public Council on Matters of Cooperation with Religious Organizations
within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine issued a statement
about the propaganda campaign regarding the religious situation in
The expanded session of the Public Council, with
the participation of Minister Pavel Klimkin and members of the
All-Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations, was held
on 23 February 2016, the Institute of Religious Liberty reports.
Ukrainian minister of foreign affairs gave information about measures
undertaken by the MID for combating Russian aggression in the
temporarily occupied territory of the autonomous republic of Crimea and
the city of Sevastopol and the east of Ukraine. Pavel Klimkin noted the
unifying role of church leaders and urged them to bring to every
believer the truth about the situation in Ukraine.
participants exchanged opinions regarding ways to counter the
anti-Ukrainian propaganda that the Russian federation is conducting
within the framework of the "hybrid war" against Ukraine.
the basis of results of the discussion, the Public Council adopted a
statement that expressed concern over the attempts of certain foreign
and domestic forces to destabilize Ukrainian society, using the
The Public Council turned to the
international community with a request to take effective measures for
protecting the fundamental rights and liberties of believing citizens in
the temporarily occupied territory of the autonomous republic of Crimea
and the city of Sevastopol and in different regions of Donetsk and
Luhansk provinces that are not controlled by Ukrainian authorities.
of seeking ways for protecting fundamental rights of believers in these
territories and in the information space, especially in Russian media,
there have been many manipulations and much propaganda, which have
become instruments of a hybrid war and further inflaming of hostility.
In this way, new lines of tension within Ukraine have been provoked and
the long-term peaceful and stable development of the religious
environment has been destabilized, information in news media has been
falsified, and attempts have been made to change public opinion in the
world in favor of the aggressor country," the document notes.
The statement emphasizes the necessity "of opposing the use of religion for stirring up hostility and escalating the conflict."
Institute of Religious Liberty has reported that the mission of the
CSCE has identified substantial restrictions of religious liberty in
Crimea and the facts have been laid out in a report that was published
in September 2015.
Earlier rights advocates collected
instances of religious persecution on the part of separatists in the
occupied Donbass, which were publicized in international conferences of
the CSCE. (tr. by PDS, posted 27 February 2016)
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