The authorities of the so-called “Donetsk people’s Republic” issued an injunction prohibiting the activity of operating religious organizations that have not undergone re-registration.
While the occupation authorities in Donetsk have set a deadline of re-registration 1 March 2019, reports the Institute of religious freedom.
This is required so-called “DNR law” “On freedom of conscience and religious associations” adopted in April and signed in may 2018.
As found by the IRS from the local believers, the Pro-Russian puppets require churches and religious organizations in the occupied territories of Donetsk region to fulfill this requirement for re-registration under the threat of a ban on any religious activity, and further confiscation of temples, meetinghouses and other Church property.
The mentioned changes also provide that for the purposes of registration of existing religious organizations religious expertise is mandatory. It can be assumed that this requirement will be the main tool that the occupation authorities of Donetsk will use for refusal of registration of religious organizations and groups.
While religious organizations and groups, in case of successful registration are obliged at least once a year to submit to the authority of the occupation authorities the notice on continuation of their activities.
It should be noted that these requirements are mandatory re-registration and the passage of the religious examination shall not apply to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate). For this confession, the occupation authorities have provided special simplified procedure “legalization”.
As it became known to the IRS from their sources, 10 Jun 2018 representatives “of the state property Fund DNR” without any explanation closed Church of the Holy spirit Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Kyivan Patriarchate in Donetsk.
Later, on June 26, representatives of the “MGB DNR” closed the mosque in Donetsk, citing the allegedly aiding terrorists and Pro-Ukrainian propaganda on the part of local Muslims. In their actions, the occupation authorities rely on so-called “DNR law” “On countering extremist activities”, which, as in Russia, often used to suppress unwanted religious activities of believers and religious unions in General.
We will remind that problems with re-registration in 2018 also arose among the religious organizations in the occupied territories of the Luhansk region. The occupation authorities demanded that the local religious organizations to reregister until the beginning of August 2018. While adopted in February the so-called “act LC” “ON freedom of conscience and religious associations” prohibits activity on the occupied territory of Luhansk region all religious groups, which consist of five or more persons and have no direct relationship to any of the “traditional confessions”. The list of “traditional religions” is not specified.
As reported by the IRS, the occupation authorities uncontrolled by Ukraine territories of the Luhansk region continued religious persecution of Evangelical Christians. In particular, the Pro-Russian rebels looted the house of prayer of Evangelical Christians-Baptists in the city of Stakhanov.
While the annual report of the USCIRF stated that Russia is responsible for religious crimes in the Donbass and in the Crimea, because the actual control of those occupied territories.