On June 2, 15 NGOs plus 33 students and well-known activists have written to the US Secretary of State, to ask him to start out a process to have the UN ECOSOC’s consultative standing of the group FECRIS withdrawn. It’s a really uncommon request based mostly on the truth that affiliate associations of the FECRIS, a French “anti-sectarian” umbrella group, has engaged within the Russian anti-western propaganda for years, and continued to help the Kremlin in ominous methods at the start of the battle towards Ukraine. We reproduce right here the content material of the letter adopted by the checklist of signatories, which incorporates 15 outstanding Ukrainian students.
Pricey Secretary Blinken,
We write as an off-the-cuff group of organizations and people who’re non secular and secular leaders, human rights advocates, practitioners, and students to respectfully urge you, as a member of the Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) on the United Nations (UN), to request the withdrawal of consultative standing that’s at the moment held by FECRIS (the European Federation of Centres for Analysis and Data on Sects and Cults) with the Financial and Social Council (ECOSOC).
This letter is a multi-faith initiative of the Worldwide Non secular Freedom (IRF) Roundtable, a multi-faith, inclusive (of all faiths and beliefs), equal citizenship discussion board that has confirmed it’s doable to interact cooperatively and constructively throughout deep variations and enhance mutual understanding, respect, belief, and reliance via joint advocacy actions.
Whereas we maintain an especially broad variety of theological views and political positions, all of us agree on the significance of worldwide non secular freedom. It strengthens cultures and supplies the muse for secure democracies and their parts, together with civil society, financial progress, and social concord. As such, it is usually an efficient counter-terrorism weapon because it pre-emptively undermines non secular extremism. Historical past and fashionable scholarship make it clear that the place persons are allowed to follow their religion freely, they’re much less more likely to be alienated from the federal government, and extra more likely to be good residents.
In signing this letter, we’ve opted right into a multi-faith coalition to induce you to strip FECRIS of its consultative standing with ECOSOC.
Certainly, per ECOSOC Decision 1996/31, the consultative standing of NGOs with ECOSOC shall be suspended as much as three years or withdrawn within the following case:
FECRIS is a French-based umbrella group that coordinates with member associations in additional than 40 EU nations, and past. It was created in 1994 by a French anti-cult affiliation named UNADFI and receives all of its funding from the French authorities (whereas its member associations might obtain funding from their very own governments). In 2009, FECRIS was granted “ECOSOC Particular Consultative Standing” by the UN.
Throughout its historical past, FECRIS and its members have gathered a large number of civil and prison convictions for his or her actions that defame minority religions and unfold hate-speech towards them.
From 2009 to 2021, Alexander Dvorkin, head of the Saint Irenaeus of Lyons Heart for Non secular Research in Russia, served as Vice-President of FECRIS. Since 2021, he has continued to function a member of its board of administrators. Dvorkin, on behalf of FECRIS, has been a key architect of the crackdown on non secular minorities in Russia and past, as he unfold his anti-religious propaganda and misinformation to different nations, together with so far as China.
Furthermore, Alexander Dvorkin has been a driver of the Anti-West propaganda of the Kremlin for years, and immediately and publicly attacked the democratic establishments of Ukraine after the Euromaidan protests, accusing them of being members of cults (Baptists, Evangelicals, Greek Catholics, pagans and Scientologists) being utilized by Western secret providers to hurt Russia.
Additional, Dvorkin and different members and correspondents of the Russian FECRIS have been concerned within the fixed propaganda, which ready the bottom and justified the present battle in Ukraine, as a battle towards Western decadence and a battle to guard Russian religious values.
Throughout the first 4 weeks of the battle in Ukraine, Russian FECRIS associations have been actively supporting the battle and brazenly working with Russian regulation enforcement businesses to collect data on anybody who would oppose it and even simply share data on the casualties in Ukraine.
On the similar time, Russia has enacted a regulation that established a jail sentence of as much as 15 years for any individual “discrediting the armed forces,” which incorporates talking of “battle” as an alternative of the official Russian time period, “particular army operation.”
Till now, no self-discipline has ever been taken towards Dvorkin and/or Russian FECRIS associations for his or her actions that unfold propaganda and catalyze discrimination and persecution of non secular communities.
It’s recognized and understood that FECRIS has recognized in regards to the ideology and actions of its Russian members for years, and has continued to help them, nonetheless.
FECRIS as an entity should be held accountable for the actions of its Russian member associations for the next causes:
Whereas FECRIS has been alerted in regards to the outrageous ideology and actions of Alexander Dvorkin and Russian member associations for years, it has saved Dvorkin on its board of administrators, which elected him twice as Vice President, and has supported the associations all alongside, having by no means taken any disciplinary actions towards any of them.
Actually, FECRIS has been actively coordinating as an entity with Russian authorities to set off the crackdown on non secular minorities since way back to 2009—the identical 12 months it was granted “ECOSOC Particular Consultative Standing” by the UN.
The mere ideology and methodology of FECRIS, as a continuing, is to make use of authoritative governments to set off crackdowns on non secular communities it stigmatizes as sects or cults, with no regard to their human dignity, liberty of conscience, and different fundamentals human rights.
In conclusion, FECRIS must be stripped of its ECOSOC consultative standing on the UN. Its goals and actions are in full opposition to the goals and functions of the UN. Additional, Russian FECRIS associates are actively supporting the battle in Ukraine.
Thanks on your consideration to this necessary matter.
Bitter Winter, a every day journal on non secular liberty and human rights
Boat Folks SOS (BPSOS)
Marketing campaign to Abolish Trendy-day Slavery in Asia (CAMSA)
CESNUR, Heart for Research on New Religions
Committee for Non secular Freedom in Vietnam
European Federation for Freedom of Perception (FOB)
European Interreligious Discussion board for Non secular Freedom (EIFRF)
Gerard Noodt Basis
Human Rights With out Frontiers
Jubilee Marketing campaign USA
The All Faiths Community UK
The Heart for Research on Freedom of Faith Perception and Conscience (LIREC)
The Orthodox Public Affairs Committee (OPAC)
Ukrainian Affiliation of Non secular Research (UARR)
Union of Councils for Jews within the former Soviet Union (UCSJ)
Greg Mitchell , Chair, IRF Roundtable, Chair, IRF Secretariat
Prof. Alla Aristova, Ukrainian Encyclopedia
Eileen Barker OBE FBA, Professor Emeritus, London Faculty of Economics
Prof. Alla Boyko , Institute of Journalism, Shevchenko College of Kyiv – Ukraine
Keegan Burke, DC department director Alliance of Religions
Prof. Yurii Chornomorets, Drahomanov College – Ukraine
Anuttama Dasa, World Director of Communications, Worldwide Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON)
Soraya M Deen, Founder, Muslim Ladies Audio system
Nguyen Dinh Thang, PhD, Laureate of the 2011 Asia Democracy and Human Rights Award
Prof. Vitalii Dokash, Vice-President, Ukrainian Affiliation of Non secular Research (UARR)
Prof. Liudmyla Fylypovych, Vice-President Ukrainian Affiliation of Non secular Research (UARR)
George Gigicos, Co-Founder and Chairman, The Orthodox Public Affairs Committee (OPAC)
Nathan Haddad, Coordinator, OIAC (Group of Iranian American Communities)
Lauren Homer, President, Legislation and Liberty Belief
PhD Oksana Horkusha, Institute of Philosophy of the Nationwide Academy of Sciences of Ukraine
Massimo Introvigne, Editor in Chief, Bitter Winter, a every day journal on non secular liberty and human rights
Ruslan Khalikov, PhD, Member of the Board, Ukrainian Affiliation of Researchers of Faith
Prof. Anatolii Kolodnyi, President, Ukrainian Affiliation of Non secular Research (UARR)
PhD. Hanna Kulagina-Stadnichenko, Secretary, Ukrainian Affiliation of Non secular Research (UARR)
Larry Lerner, President of Union of Councils for Jews within the former Soviet Union (UCSJ)
PhD Svitlana Loznytsia, Institute of Philosophy of the Nationwide Academy of Sciences of Ukraine
Prof. Raffaella Di Marzio, Managing Director, Heart for Freedom of Faith Perception and Conscience (LIREC)
Hans Noot, President, Gerard Noodt Basis
Prof. Oleksandr Sagan, Vice-President, Ukrainian Affiliation of Non secular Research (UARR)
Bachittar Singh Ughrha, Founder and President, Heart for defence of human rights
Prof. Roman Sitarchuk, Vice-President, Ukrainian Affiliation of Non secular Research (UARR)
Rev. Dr. Scott Stearman, UN Consultant, Baptist World Alliance
Prof. Vita Tytarenko, Grinchenko College – Ukraine
Andrew Veniopoulos, Co-Founder and Vice-Chairman, The Orthodox Public Affairs Committee (OPAC)
PhD Volodymyr Volkovsky, Institute of Philosophy of the Nationwide Academy of Sciences of Ukraine
Martin Weightman, Director, The All Religion Community
Prof. Leonid Vyhovsky, Khmelnytsky College of Legislation – Ukraine
Prof. Victor Yelenski, Nationwide Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Former member of the Ukrainian Parliament
Honorary Member of the Parliamentary Meeting of the Council of Europe