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Crimea: Catholic convent closed; nuns denied residency permits

January 20, 2015

A Catholic convent in the Crimean capital city of Simferopol has been closed, after the three sister who lived there were denied extensions of their residence permits, the Forum 18 news service reports.

The Franciscan Missionaries of Mary had worked with the poor in Simferopol for 18 years. But the sisters living in the convent were natives of Poland or Ukraine, and after the Russian takeover of the Crimea, authorities have declined to renew their residence permits.

Operating under Russian law, Crimean officials now require that religious communities be formally registered with the state in order to qualify for admission of foreign-born pastoral workers. No religious organization in Crimea has been granted official registration.

 
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