risu.org.ua - Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the UN Office and other International Organizations in Geneva Yuri Klymenko urged the UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief Ahmed Shaheed to find a way to get access to the territory occupied by Russia in the Crimea and to assess the situation there with freedom of religion and belief.

Mr. President,

We welcome conducting this dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief and Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence; may I turn to the report of Mr. Ahmed Shaheed.

We fully agree that the individuals, not religions, convictions, belief systems or truth claims, are the right-holders of the right to freedom of religion or belief.

The individuals belonging to minority Christian communities on the territories controlled by the Russian-backed illegal armed groups in eastern Ukraine continuously face restrictions and threats based on their beliefs by those groups.

The members of Crimean Tatars are individuals, whose rights to many freedoms including the freedom of religion are being violated by the Russian occupying authorities of the Crimean peninsula. They are subjected to abuse, discrimination, harassment, intimidation in particular based on their religion.

Having in mind that constant presence of the international monitoring organizations including the UN human rights mechanisms in the peninsula will help to make the occupying authorities respect their obligations under international law, and sharing your view, Mr.  Shaheed, that HRC special procedures are most effective when they operate as a cohesive system, we call on you to seek ways and means to ensure access to Crimea – either individual or collective – in order to estimate the situation.

Thank you.


Teachings of Christ

“Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you." (Matthew 6:33 ESV)

Exaltation of the Cross

Save Your people, O Lord, and bless Your inheritance; * grant victory to Your Church over her enemies * and protect Your commonwealth by Your Cross. (Troparion - Tone 1)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Willingly lifted up on the Cross, O Christ God, * bestow Your compassions upon the new commonwealth that bears Your name. * By your power grant joy to Your Church, * granting her victory over her enemies. * May she have your Cross as the weapon of peace * and the invincible ensign of victory. (Kontakion - Tone 4)

The Church celebrates the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross on September 14th.

Random Proverb

"Do not say to your neighbor, “Go, and come again, tomorrow I will give it”—when you have it with you." (Proverbs 3:28 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

Virtues and vices are the food of the soul and it can feed on either one, turning to whichever one it wants. If it is bent toward moral excellence, it will be fed by virtue - by righteousness, temperance, meekness, endurance. In other words, it is just as St. Paul says, 'being nourished by the word of truth' (1 Tim. 4:6).

St. Ignatius of Antioch