According to an annual report released on Monday by the US State Department, Russia was amongst the countries (including Saudi Arabia, DPRK, Cuba, Iran, and China) that imposed restrictions on freedom of religion last year. US Secretary of State John Kerry commented to the press, “This report is a clear-eyed objective (sic!) look at the state of religious freedom around the world. When necessary, yes, it does directly call out some of our close friends, as well as some countries with whom we seek stronger ties. It does so in order to try to make progress, even though we know that it may cause some discomfort. But when countries undermine or attack religious freedom, they not only unjustly threaten those whom they target. They also threaten their country’s own stability… attacks on religious freedom are therefore both a moral and a strategic national security concern for the USA”.
According to the International Religious Freedom Report for 2012, the Russian government “targeted members of minority religious groups through the use of extremism charges to ban religious materials and restrict groups’ right to assemble”. It said authorities also “restricted religious minorities through detention, raids, denial of official registration with the Ministry of Justice (Minyust), and denial of visas to religious workers”. Suzan Johnson Cook, Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom, a division of the US State Department that monitors religious persecution and discrimination around the world, said, “Religious freedom is essential for a stable, peaceful, and thriving society. … As this report makes clear, much work remains to be done”.
The report finds evidence of anti-Muslim sentiment and discrimination in Russia, as well as an increase in anti-Semitism, pointing to vandals in Russia painting a swastika on a fence at a St Petersburg synagogue in May 2012, and in July 2012, vandals painting a swastika on a synagogue wall in Irkutsk. The report alleged, “Members of minority religious groups continued to experience harassment and occasional physical attacks. Violent extremism in the North Caucasus region and an influx of Central Asian migrant workers led to negative attitudes in many regions toward traditionally-Muslim ethnic groups”.
Amongst the claimed instances that raised concern in Russia:
- Reports of detentions and onerous financial penalties against members of minority religious groups
- Detaining Jehovah’s Witnesses and adherents of the Islamic theologian Bediüzzaman Said Nursî and charging them with “extremism”
- Searching and seizing the property of members of minority religious groups such as Scientologists and Falun Gong
- Restrictions on the rights of minority religious groups to meet publicly
- A two-year prison sentence for members of the punk-rock band Pussy Riot, for “hooliganism motivated by religious hatred”, after they performed a protest song in Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Saviour
The report asserted, “There’s no state religion, but the Russian Orthodox Church and other ‘traditional’ religious communities received preferential consideration”. The annual report details the status of religious freedom in 195 countries throughout the world. Mandated by, and presented to, the US Congress, under the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998.
20 May 2013
BOO-HOO! Let’s all shudder together in unison. Americans have NO right at all to point fingers. Look at the vacuous anti-Muslim diatribes broadcast by the likes of Fox News, Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh, and Peter King. You’d think that Muslims were responsible for cancer, the common cold, athlete’s foot, and the heartbreak of psoriasis. THIS is why America and Americans are hated throughout the whole world. “Why, we’re so good that all of you unwashed yobbos and wogs have to kiss our naked arse in full view of everybody, or we’ll send you ungrateful and disrespectful sods democracy on the bomb-racks of a USAF bomber”. That’s what it is, full stop… and no one can deny it. However, they got their comeuppance in Iraq and Afghanistan. In Iraq, they ended by putting a pro-Iranian junta in power (a delicious irony if there ever was one), and they can’t impose their diktat over the Hindu Kush, even though they’ve spent twelve years trying to do so.
This is more Anglo-Saxon posturing… yes, kids, it’s what you see amongst the konvertsy… we’re all so BACKWARD… but all we have to do is to follow the simon-pure WASPs, kiss their bums whenever they present them, and everything will be hunky-dory. Well, I don’t give such twaddle any truck any more… life is too short. Cross yourself, say “Slava Bogu”, and tell ‘em to their face, “Kiss my arse”… you’ll feel 100 percent better, and they won’t bother you any further (they WILL trash you behind your back, but them’s the breaks, kids). Silly sorts, aren’t they? It takes ALL kinds in our sinful-ginful world.