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Ukrainian government: ‘stop the terror’ against clerics in Crimea

Catholic World News - March 19, 2014

The head of Ukraine’s Department of Religious and Ethnic Affairs called for the end of the “persecution of the clerics of various denominations” in Crimea, which voted to secede from Ukraine and join Russia two weeks after Russian military intervention.

“Recently, in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea cases of persecution of the clerics of various denominations have been documented, there has been an unprecedented violation of rights in the field of freedom of conscience and religion, in guaranteeing the inviolability of the person,” said Volodymyr Yushkevych, according to a report from the Religious Information Service of Ukraine.

“We call on international organizations and the public to help protect the clergy and faithful from persecution,” he added. “Crimea was and should remain a region where citizens of many faiths and nationalities live and work together peacefully, tolerate and respect each other.”

Yushkevych’s remarks follow the abduction and release of a Ukrainian Greek Catholic priest.

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