Friday, April 28, 2006

Religious freedom in Ukraine, persecution in Belarus

This story doesn't have anything to do with Ukrainian music or culture, but it really bears mentioning, as you won't read or hear about it in the mainstream media.

In Belarus, totalitarianism is alive and well, and providing fertile ground for anti-semitism. Yet the West couldn't seem to care any less.

The Minsk city authorities refused permission ... for the local Hassidic Jewish community to hold its 12 April Passover celebration ... only a fraction of its approximately 600 members was able to mark the festival as a congregation. ...

... the Minsk Hassidic Jewish community made a provisional agreement to hold its Passover celebration at the state-owned Palace for Children and Youth with that institution's director. He pointed out that the choice of a city centre location ... was particularly important for the community's elderly due to a religious requirement for worshippers to attend the celebration on foot. Under the religion law, all religious events taking place outside designated places of worship require official permission ... the Jewish community duly submitted a request for permission ... as required by the demonstrations law.

That is just so sick. Contrast to this TV program that was broadcast to tens of thousands in Ukraine.

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