Daily Archives: April 7, 2007

Crushing Diverse Religion in Putin’s Orthodox Russia

The Bipartisan U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom issued a report on Russia in the fall of last year which begins: “Since Vladimir Putin became president of Russia in 2000, the Russian government has steadily retrated from democratic reform, endangering significant gains in human rights made since the end of the Soviet era, including in the areas of freedom of religion or belief.” The report documents increasing race violence, official harassment of Muslims, attacks on NGO monitoring, and cites an April 2006 statement of Metropolitan Kirill (pictured, left) which asserts Russia’s right “to deviate from UN human rights norms to correct the ‘harmful emphasis’ on ‘heightened individualism’ which has infilatrated Russian society via ‘opposition groups’ working through Russian civil society organizations.” In essence, Kirill called these groups foriegn spy organizations. The report also points out that under Russian law Russian Orthodoxy is the only form of Christianity to receive recognition (along with Islam, Judaism and Budhism).

Now, Kirill has responded to the USCIRF report. According to Interfax:

Head of the Moscow Patriarchate Departmenr for External Church Relations Metropolitan Kirill of Smolensk and Kaliningrad has criticized the depiction of the situation in Russia in a 2006 report issued by the U.S. Commission on Religious Freedom. “In its report U.S. experts are superficial and biased when judging the Orthodox Church’s approach to the understanding of human rights, to the problems of Church-State relations. The report for its authors is not an opinion, which we want to respect, but a sort of verdict on religious freedom in Russia,” Metropolitan Kirill said in an interview with the Rossijskaya Gazeta newspaper published on Friday. On March 20, the Metropolitan, in comments on the report sent to U.S. Ambassador to Russia William Burns, confirmed, among other things, the Russian Orthodox Church’s concern about “the radical-liberal interpretation of human rights” and its desire to ban any abuses of human rights that “humiliate human dignity and undermine conventional ethical principles.” In his interview the Metropolitan recalled that democracy as a “political mechanism” makes it possible for various systems of values to co-exist and is not identical to “the ideology developed in the West without other civilizations and cultures taken into account. This is why it is surprising when some see themselves as ultimate holders of the truth,” the representative of the Russian Orthodox Church said. The support of same-sex “marriages”, drug addiction, prostitution, death by lethal injection in the West should not be made “the criterion of democracy in society and should not make everyone believe they are useful, right and ethically acceptable.”

So, what he’s saying is that if you are a democrat this means you have to accept the existence of fascist maniacs as an expression of divurgence of opinion, and leave them alone. Isn’t that what Hitler said at Munich? It seems he’s also saying that the West consistes of morally degraded inferior beings who have no right to make moral criticisms. Isn’t that what Krushchev said at the United Nations? Is this man a cleric or an apparachik? Kind of hard to tell, isn’t it?

Crushing Diverse Religion in Putin’s Orthodox Russia

The Bipartisan U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom issued a report on Russia in the fall of last year which begins: “Since Vladimir Putin became president of Russia in 2000, the Russian government has steadily retrated from democratic reform, endangering significant gains in human rights made since the end of the Soviet era, including in the areas of freedom of religion or belief.” The report documents increasing race violence, official harassment of Muslims, attacks on NGO monitoring, and cites an April 2006 statement of Metropolitan Kirill (pictured, left) which asserts Russia’s right “to deviate from UN human rights norms to correct the ‘harmful emphasis’ on ‘heightened individualism’ which has infilatrated Russian society via ‘opposition groups’ working through Russian civil society organizations.” In essence, Kirill called these groups foriegn spy organizations. The report also points out that under Russian law Russian Orthodoxy is the only form of Christianity to receive recognition (along with Islam, Judaism and Budhism).

Now, Kirill has responded to the USCIRF report. According to Interfax:

Head of the Moscow Patriarchate Departmenr for External Church Relations Metropolitan Kirill of Smolensk and Kaliningrad has criticized the depiction of the situation in Russia in a 2006 report issued by the U.S. Commission on Religious Freedom. “In its report U.S. experts are superficial and biased when judging the Orthodox Church’s approach to the understanding of human rights, to the problems of Church-State relations. The report for its authors is not an opinion, which we want to respect, but a sort of verdict on religious freedom in Russia,” Metropolitan Kirill said in an interview with the Rossijskaya Gazeta newspaper published on Friday. On March 20, the Metropolitan, in comments on the report sent to U.S. Ambassador to Russia William Burns, confirmed, among other things, the Russian Orthodox Church’s concern about “the radical-liberal interpretation of human rights” and its desire to ban any abuses of human rights that “humiliate human dignity and undermine conventional ethical principles.” In his interview the Metropolitan recalled that democracy as a “political mechanism” makes it possible for various systems of values to co-exist and is not identical to “the ideology developed in the West without other civilizations and cultures taken into account. This is why it is surprising when some see themselves as ultimate holders of the truth,” the representative of the Russian Orthodox Church said. The support of same-sex “marriages”, drug addiction, prostitution, death by lethal injection in the West should not be made “the criterion of democracy in society and should not make everyone believe they are useful, right and ethically acceptable.”

So, what he’s saying is that if you are a democrat this means you have to accept the existence of fascist maniacs as an expression of divurgence of opinion, and leave them alone. Isn’t that what Hitler said at Munich? It seems he’s also saying that the West consistes of morally degraded inferior beings who have no right to make moral criticisms. Isn’t that what Krushchev said at the United Nations? Is this man a cleric or an apparachik? Kind of hard to tell, isn’t it?

Crushing Diverse Religion in Putin’s Orthodox Russia

The Bipartisan U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom issued a report on Russia in the fall of last year which begins: “Since Vladimir Putin became president of Russia in 2000, the Russian government has steadily retrated from democratic reform, endangering significant gains in human rights made since the end of the Soviet era, including in the areas of freedom of religion or belief.” The report documents increasing race violence, official harassment of Muslims, attacks on NGO monitoring, and cites an April 2006 statement of Metropolitan Kirill (pictured, left) which asserts Russia’s right “to deviate from UN human rights norms to correct the ‘harmful emphasis’ on ‘heightened individualism’ which has infilatrated Russian society via ‘opposition groups’ working through Russian civil society organizations.” In essence, Kirill called these groups foriegn spy organizations. The report also points out that under Russian law Russian Orthodoxy is the only form of Christianity to receive recognition (along with Islam, Judaism and Budhism).

Now, Kirill has responded to the USCIRF report. According to Interfax:

Head of the Moscow Patriarchate Departmenr for External Church Relations Metropolitan Kirill of Smolensk and Kaliningrad has criticized the depiction of the situation in Russia in a 2006 report issued by the U.S. Commission on Religious Freedom. “In its report U.S. experts are superficial and biased when judging the Orthodox Church’s approach to the understanding of human rights, to the problems of Church-State relations. The report for its authors is not an opinion, which we want to respect, but a sort of verdict on religious freedom in Russia,” Metropolitan Kirill said in an interview with the Rossijskaya Gazeta newspaper published on Friday. On March 20, the Metropolitan, in comments on the report sent to U.S. Ambassador to Russia William Burns, confirmed, among other things, the Russian Orthodox Church’s concern about “the radical-liberal interpretation of human rights” and its desire to ban any abuses of human rights that “humiliate human dignity and undermine conventional ethical principles.” In his interview the Metropolitan recalled that democracy as a “political mechanism” makes it possible for various systems of values to co-exist and is not identical to “the ideology developed in the West without other civilizations and cultures taken into account. This is why it is surprising when some see themselves as ultimate holders of the truth,” the representative of the Russian Orthodox Church said. The support of same-sex “marriages”, drug addiction, prostitution, death by lethal injection in the West should not be made “the criterion of democracy in society and should not make everyone believe they are useful, right and ethically acceptable.”

So, what he’s saying is that if you are a democrat this means you have to accept the existence of fascist maniacs as an expression of divurgence of opinion, and leave them alone. Isn’t that what Hitler said at Munich? It seems he’s also saying that the West consistes of morally degraded inferior beings who have no right to make moral criticisms. Isn’t that what Krushchev said at the United Nations? Is this man a cleric or an apparachik? Kind of hard to tell, isn’t it?

Crushing Diverse Religion in Putin’s Orthodox Russia

The Bipartisan U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom issued a report on Russia in the fall of last year which begins: “Since Vladimir Putin became president of Russia in 2000, the Russian government has steadily retrated from democratic reform, endangering significant gains in human rights made since the end of the Soviet era, including in the areas of freedom of religion or belief.” The report documents increasing race violence, official harassment of Muslims, attacks on NGO monitoring, and cites an April 2006 statement of Metropolitan Kirill (pictured, left) which asserts Russia’s right “to deviate from UN human rights norms to correct the ‘harmful emphasis’ on ‘heightened individualism’ which has infilatrated Russian society via ‘opposition groups’ working through Russian civil society organizations.” In essence, Kirill called these groups foriegn spy organizations. The report also points out that under Russian law Russian Orthodoxy is the only form of Christianity to receive recognition (along with Islam, Judaism and Budhism).

Now, Kirill has responded to the USCIRF report. According to Interfax:

Head of the Moscow Patriarchate Departmenr for External Church Relations Metropolitan Kirill of Smolensk and Kaliningrad has criticized the depiction of the situation in Russia in a 2006 report issued by the U.S. Commission on Religious Freedom. “In its report U.S. experts are superficial and biased when judging the Orthodox Church’s approach to the understanding of human rights, to the problems of Church-State relations. The report for its authors is not an opinion, which we want to respect, but a sort of verdict on religious freedom in Russia,” Metropolitan Kirill said in an interview with the Rossijskaya Gazeta newspaper published on Friday. On March 20, the Metropolitan, in comments on the report sent to U.S. Ambassador to Russia William Burns, confirmed, among other things, the Russian Orthodox Church’s concern about “the radical-liberal interpretation of human rights” and its desire to ban any abuses of human rights that “humiliate human dignity and undermine conventional ethical principles.” In his interview the Metropolitan recalled that democracy as a “political mechanism” makes it possible for various systems of values to co-exist and is not identical to “the ideology developed in the West without other civilizations and cultures taken into account. This is why it is surprising when some see themselves as ultimate holders of the truth,” the representative of the Russian Orthodox Church said. The support of same-sex “marriages”, drug addiction, prostitution, death by lethal injection in the West should not be made “the criterion of democracy in society and should not make everyone believe they are useful, right and ethically acceptable.”

So, what he’s saying is that if you are a democrat this means you have to accept the existence of fascist maniacs as an expression of divurgence of opinion, and leave them alone. Isn’t that what Hitler said at Munich? It seems he’s also saying that the West consistes of morally degraded inferior beings who have no right to make moral criticisms. Isn’t that what Krushchev said at the United Nations? Is this man a cleric or an apparachik? Kind of hard to tell, isn’t it?

Crushing Diverse Religion in Putin’s Orthodox Russia

The Bipartisan U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom issued a report on Russia in the fall of last year which begins: “Since Vladimir Putin became president of Russia in 2000, the Russian government has steadily retrated from democratic reform, endangering significant gains in human rights made since the end of the Soviet era, including in the areas of freedom of religion or belief.” The report documents increasing race violence, official harassment of Muslims, attacks on NGO monitoring, and cites an April 2006 statement of Metropolitan Kirill (pictured, left) which asserts Russia’s right “to deviate from UN human rights norms to correct the ‘harmful emphasis’ on ‘heightened individualism’ which has infilatrated Russian society via ‘opposition groups’ working through Russian civil society organizations.” In essence, Kirill called these groups foriegn spy organizations. The report also points out that under Russian law Russian Orthodoxy is the only form of Christianity to receive recognition (along with Islam, Judaism and Budhism).

Now, Kirill has responded to the USCIRF report. According to Interfax:

Head of the Moscow Patriarchate Departmenr for External Church Relations Metropolitan Kirill of Smolensk and Kaliningrad has criticized the depiction of the situation in Russia in a 2006 report issued by the U.S. Commission on Religious Freedom. “In its report U.S. experts are superficial and biased when judging the Orthodox Church’s approach to the understanding of human rights, to the problems of Church-State relations. The report for its authors is not an opinion, which we want to respect, but a sort of verdict on religious freedom in Russia,” Metropolitan Kirill said in an interview with the Rossijskaya Gazeta newspaper published on Friday. On March 20, the Metropolitan, in comments on the report sent to U.S. Ambassador to Russia William Burns, confirmed, among other things, the Russian Orthodox Church’s concern about “the radical-liberal interpretation of human rights” and its desire to ban any abuses of human rights that “humiliate human dignity and undermine conventional ethical principles.” In his interview the Metropolitan recalled that democracy as a “political mechanism” makes it possible for various systems of values to co-exist and is not identical to “the ideology developed in the West without other civilizations and cultures taken into account. This is why it is surprising when some see themselves as ultimate holders of the truth,” the representative of the Russian Orthodox Church said. The support of same-sex “marriages”, drug addiction, prostitution, death by lethal injection in the West should not be made “the criterion of democracy in society and should not make everyone believe they are useful, right and ethically acceptable.”

So, what he’s saying is that if you are a democrat this means you have to accept the existence of fascist maniacs as an expression of divurgence of opinion, and leave them alone. Isn’t that what Hitler said at Munich? It seems he’s also saying that the West consistes of morally degraded inferior beings who have no right to make moral criticisms. Isn’t that what Krushchev said at the United Nations? Is this man a cleric or an apparachik? Kind of hard to tell, isn’t it?

Bush and Shamanov Sitting in a Tree

La Russophobe continues to be disappointed with the Russia policy of U.S. President George Bush. First he “looks into Putin’s eyes” and now it’s Russian General Vladimir Shamanov‘s turn. His reputation in history is in serious jeopardy. The Moscow News reports:

Russian human rights groups on Thursday asked U.S. President George W. Bush to explain why he had a White House meeting with a Russian general accused of rights abuses in Chechnya, the Reuters news agency reports. Bush met General Vladimir Shamanov in March as part of a U.S.-Russian commission on missing soldiers. A spokeswoman said it was “unlikely” Bush would have met Shamanov if he had known about the abuse allegations. “The rather vague apologies of the White House don’t seem sufficient in such a grave situation. We hope to hear your own explanation,” said an open letter signed by leaders of 13 Russian human rights groups. “Was that meeting with Shamanov a misunderstanding and a very unfortunate mistake? Or do you believe that … war crimes and crimes against humanity may remain uninvestigated, and the perpetrators may go unpunished?” “Whether you wanted it or not, the international community received a signal that the leader of a world power … welcomes a general who is allegedly responsible for war crimes,” said the letter.

New York-based rights group Human Rights Watch has accused Shamanov, now retired, of being in charge of a Russian battalion blamed for attacking the Chechen village of Alkhan-Yurt in December 1999, killing 17 civilians. The signatories of the letter included several prominent Russian human rights campaigners. One of the signatories, Tatyana Lokshina, met Bush and told him about rights abuses in Chechnya when the U.S. president visited Russia for a Group of Eight summit last year. The European Court for Human Rights on Thursday awarded a Chechen woman over 50,000 euros ($66,700) in damages to a Chechen woman whose husband disappeared during a security sweep by federal forces in the troubled region.

Publius Pundit has more, including a copy of the photograph.

Oops, They did it Again (kidnapped, murdered and railroaded justice, that is)

Ladies, have you ever asked yourselves how much it would take to compensate you if the KGB kidnapped and murdered your husband because it didn’t care for his politics? The European Court for Human Rights has the answer: $69,400. The Moscow Times reports:

The European Court of Human Rights on Thursday blamed the Russian government for the disappearance and presumed killing of a Chechen man during a military sweep in Grozny in 2000. The court ruled that Russia failed to investigate the incident properly and awarded the man’s widow 52,000 euros ($69,400) in damages and almost 13,000 euros ($17,400) in court costs. It was the court’s fourth ruling in nine months against Russia in cases concerning hostilities in Chechnya. Shakhid Baysayev disappeared on March 2, 2000, on his way to work near Grozny. Government forces conducted a sweep in the area that day to identify members of illegal armed groups. Several months later, Baysayev’s widow was sold a videotape by an unknown man showing Baysayev lying on the ground and being kicked by a soldier before being taken away. She was also given a sketched map purportedly showing where her husband was buried, and later found a piece of cloth at the burial site resembling his coat. The investigation into Baysayev’s abduction was adjourned and reopened more than a dozen times by authorities, but no one was charged with the crime and the perpetrator was never identified, the court said.

Also on Thursday, the Strasbourg court ruled that Moscow city authorities had infringed on the rights of the Church of Scientology by repeatedly refusing to register it as a religious organization. The church operated in Moscow legally from 1994 to 1997, when a change in the law required all religious groups to register anew. Those that failed to do so faced the threat of dissolution by a court order. The Moscow Justice Department has rejected the Scientologists’ application 11 times, each time on different grounds. As a result, the church was “restricted in exercising the full range of its religious activities,” the court said. The court found that city authorities were biased and did not act in good faith, and awarded the church 10,000 euros ($13,400) in damages and 15,000 euros ($20,000) in court expenses.