Russians are likely conducting a campaign of systematic religious persecution in temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine
Institute for the Study of War wrote in its daily update that Russian occupation authorities were likely conducting a campaign of systematic religious persecution in temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine.
According to the report, since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 Russian soldiers or occupation authorities have reportedly committed at least 76 acts of religious persecution in Ukraine. ISW reports that Russian authorities have closed, nationalized, or forcefully converted at least 26 places of worship to the Kremlin-controlled Russian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate, killed or seized at least 29 clergy or religious leaders, and looted, desecrated, or deliberately destroyed at least 13 places of worship in occupied Ukraine.
These cases of religious repression are not likely isolated incidents but rather part of a deliberate campaign to systematically eradicate “undesirable” religious organizations in Ukraine and promote the Moscow Patriarchate, the ISW emphasized.