Warsaw, 16 to 27 September 2019

Working session 13: Tolerance and non-discrimination II

including:–Combating racism, xenophobia, and discrimination–Combating anti-Semitism and
intolerance and discrimination against Christians, Muslims and members of other religions

Is Religious Freedom ever possible in the Russian Federation ?

CAP Freedom of Conscience was created in 2000 to defend religious minorities against
discrimination in France and in Europe. CAP LC is granted of the ECOSOC consultative status
of the United Nations.

During the last OSCE sessions on Freedom of Religion or Belief, we exposed the harmful
activities of FECRIS (the European Federation of Centres of Research and Information on
Cults and Sects) in Russia and its integral financing by the French Government.
Members of FECRIS and of its Russian branch, the Saint Ireneus of Lyons Centre for
Religious Studies which is affiliated to the Orthodox Church, have been waging for years a
campaign against non-Orthodox minorities in order to eradicate them from the Russian

Alexander Dvorkin, Vice-President of FECRIS and Director of the Saint Ireneus of Lyons
Centre is the major spokesperson and activist in this campaign against religious minorities in
Russia. The situation of religious minorities has worsened during the last years as the
persecution of Jehovah’s Witnesses, the harassment of the Hindu community and others.
FECRIS claims in its by-laws that its activities do not enter « the religious field » and declares
to be neutral in this matter. How is it then, that the Vice-President of FECRIS, an organization
registered in secular France and massively financed by the French State, is Alexander
Dvorkin, a Russian citizen blessed, financed and missioned by the Russian Orthodox Church
Patriarch to combat religious minorities perceived as competitors?

We therefore ask the French Government to cease its support to FECRIS and its harmful
activities in Russia.

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