On July 8, the US Government Agency for International Religious Freedom updated and published the report “Russia’s Violation of Religious Freedom in Ukraine”, containing a number of established facts on the violation of freedom of conscience by the occupiers in the occupied Crimea

The report indicates that from the beginning of the occupation, the “authorities” of the invaders introduced religious-repressive practices of punishing independent religious activities and persecuting disadvantaged religious groups.

It is indicated that only “400 religious organizations” received a fake “legal status” from the invaders, in contrast to 1,546 religious organizations recognized in the Crimea according to Ukrainian legislation before the occupation.

Among other things, the report mentions repressions against Jehovah’s Witnesses, including the episodes of December 2022, when the occupational “court” in Armyansk “sentenced” two believers to six years in prison for discussing the Bible via Zoom, indicating that as of March 2023 in the occupied Crimea they were “sentenced” 12 Jehovah’s Witnesses to imprisonment two more to “probation”, and five are still “under investigation”.

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