RUSSIA: Kaliningrad and Moscow struggles for places of worship
In Russia's capital Moscow Hare Krishna devotees are appealing against a unilaterally terminated land lease and the denial of building permission for a temple by the authorities.
"We will pursue both cases through every level of the courts, to be able to appeal to the European Court of Human Rights", the community's lawyer told Forum 18 News Service.
Long-standing official obstructions also continue in Moscow for other disfavoured faiths in the capital, such as Muslims and Protestants. Muslims in Kaliningrad have already appealed to the ECtHR in their efforts to overcome official obstructions and complete their mosque. "In Russia no hope remains of correcting this illegal judicial act", their lawyer told Forum 18 News Service.
Kaliningrad's Jewish community, trying to reconstruct their synagogue destroyed in 1938 by the Nazis, is challenging the city administration's denial of a building permit in the Regional Arbitration Court. Local Jewish newspaper editor Sergey Sterlin told Forum 18 that the project is "historical justice..with respect to the victims of the Holocaust and the anti-fascist movement".