Accessibility links

Breaking News

Religious Leaders Call For Prayers Against Violence

(RFE/RL) 11 November 2005 -- Religious leaders in Russia's Northern Caucasus republic of Adygea today called upon their communities to help prevent sectarian violence by praying together later this month.

The appeal was signed at Maikop's main mosque by leaders of Adygea's Muslim, Orthodox, and other religious communities. Its signatories are calling for two days of prayer on 18 and 20 November.

The statement describes terrorism as "a manifestation of hell and a weapon of death" and urges Adygea's citizens to help "put an end to the fear called by the threat of destruction." It makes no reference to any specific sign of violence.

Muslim Circassians make up nearly one-fourth of Adygea's 450,000-strong population. Orthodox Russians account for 65 percent of the population.

Adygea's young Muslims have been complaining of growing harassment from law-enforcement agencies.

Unidentified attackers last week beat up Ruslan Khakirov, the imam of Maikop's main mosque. Khakirov has blamed policemen for the attack.