IRF - Institute for Religious Freedom, Kyiv, Ukraine

In the captured prayer house in Makiivka, the occupation authorities opened a Civil Registry Office PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 30 January 2019 14:52

Donetsk occupation authorities opened a Civil Registry Office in the previously seized prayer house of the “New Life” Evangelical Church of Makiivka.

This information was confirmed by Serhii Moroz, the Deputy Head of the All-Ukrainian Union of Churches of Evangelical Christian Baptists (AUC ECB), the Institute for Religious Freedom reports.

Pro-Russian occupation authorities solemnly announced about the opening of a Civil Registry Office of Krasnohvardiiskyi district of Makiivka city in the Donetsk region.

As IRF reported, on July 6, 2018, the armed representatives of so-called “Donetsk People’s Republic” (DPR) sealed and later seized the prayer house of the “New Life” Church. The formal reason for this was that the religious community did not complete the registration of ownership of this building.

The Institute for Religious Freedom notes in its Report “Religious Freedom at Gunpoint: Russian Terror in the Occupied Territories of Eastern Ukraine”, that in the occupied territories of the Donetsk region, it became common practice to seize church buildings and their conversion into Civil Registry Offices. For example, four Mormons’ houses of worship in Donetsk were confiscated by “DPR” militants and then were converted into local Civil Registry Offices.

Let us remember that a new wave of religious persecution of believers of various denominations in the occupied territories of Donetsk and Luhansk regions resumed in 2018.

First, the self-proclaimed authorities in Donetsk and Luhansk adopted the so-called “laws”, which obliged all churches and religious organizations to re-register, except for the Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate. After that, the activity of many denominations, which did not fall under the conditional definition of “traditional”, appeared at risk of a ban. Some of them were exposed to physical attacks and attacks on property.

In the annual report, the USCIRF stated that Russia is responsible for religious crimes in Donbas and the Crimea due to its actual control of these occupied territories.

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