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

“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand. I and the Father are one.” (John 10:27-30 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

For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. (Proverbs 2:6 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

When the holy Abba Anthony lived in the desert he was beset by boredom, and attacked by many sinful thoughts. He said to God, 'Lord, I want to be saved but these thoughts do not leave me alone; what shall I do in my affliction? How can I be saved?'

A short while afterwards, when he got up to go out, Anthony saw a man like himself sitting at his work, getting up from his work to pray, then sitting down and plaiting a rope, then getting up again to pray. It was an angel of the Lord sent to correct and reassure him: 'Do this and you will be saved.' At these words, Anthony was filled with joy and courage. He did this, and he was saved.


The Desert Fathers