Crimea Catholic Church facing liquidation by Russians

The Catholic Church in Russian-occupied Crimea fears it will lose its legal status after failing to meet a deadline for re-registering under Russian law.

Failure to meet the March 1 deadline could mean liquidation for the Church, said Ukraine’s Religious Freedom Institute in a statement.

The requirement to re-register was designed to force clergy and church members to accept Russian citizenship and to ensure “complete subordination” to Russian law, the statement continued.

It added that the denial of legal status would immediately affect the property rights of religious minorities, curtailing their capacity to recruit foreign priests, open bank accounts and publish and distribute literature, as well as to engage in charity work and conduct rites in hospitals, orphanages and prisons.

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