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MOSCOW, January 22. /TASS/. Representatives of the Russian Orthodox Church at the Council of Europe have urged to launch a campaign against the discrimination of Christian believers in European countries and make public the facts of vandalism committed against Christian cathedrals and acts of violation of the rights of believers in Ukraine.
"Defending the rights of Christian believers, the representatives of the Russian Orthodox church call to complement a report about attacks made on Protestant and Catholic churches in Ukraine, adding more facts about the destruction of Orthodox churches and monasteries during military operations in the east of Ukraine and attacks on Orthodox priests and believers there, which infringed on their dignity," says a communique released Thursday.
Primate of the Orthodox church in Ukraine, Metropolitan Onuphrius had earlier repeatedly appealed to the Ukrainian authorities, asking them to cut short acts of destruction of cathedrals by artillery shelling and prevent acts of aggression of nationalists against religious believers, the communique said, citing more than 60 such incidents reported over the past year.
"Crimes linked to acts of manifestation of hatred towards religious communities shall be subjected to public denouncement; the state authorities should guarantee that persons responsible for such crimes are identified and put on trial in a court of law ," the communique said.
PACE is to discuss a draft resolution on the struggle against intolerance and discrimination of Christian believers in Europe at its session due on January 26-30.