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Man Attacks Worshippers At Russian Synagogue

The attack happened in the south of the country (RFE/RL) 13 January 2006 -- Reports say an incident occurred today at one synagogue in Russia's south.

Russian news agencies say a medical student insulted and assaulted worshippers with a shard of glass from a broken bottle after being denied a meeting with the chief rabbi of Rostov-on-Don's synagogue. There were no immediate reports of injuries.

The student was arrested and reportedly confessed to being "inspired" by a similar attack in Moscow this week.

On 11 January, a 20-year-old man assaulted worshippers at a synagogue on Moscow's Bolshaya Bronnaya Street, wounding at least eight people with a knife.

A court today remanded the attacker in custody on charges of ethnically- and religiously-motivated attempted murder.

After the attack earlier this week, Russia's Jewish communities urged authorities to reinforce police security near the country's synagogues.

(RIA Novosti, Interfax)

Panel On Religious Freedom

Panel On Religious Freedom

Russian President Vladimir Putin celebrating Orthodox Christmas (CTK, file photo)

RELIGION AND SOCIETY: On December 21, 2005, RFE/RL's Washington office hosted a panel discussion on issues related to religious freedom in the former Soviet Union. Panelists included CATHERINE COSMAN, a senior policy analyst for the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom; FELIX CORLEY, editor of the Forum 18 News Service; and JOHN KINAHAN, Forum 18 assistant editor.
Cosman argued in her presentation that the Russian Orthodox Church receives preferential treatment from the government. She also expressed concern about the estimated 50,000 skinheads active in Russia. Corley focused on Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan, arguing that many governments in the region "fear institutions they can't control." Kinahan's presentation concentrates on the Uzbek government's assertions that Islamist extremists were behind the May uprising in Andijon.


Listen to the complete panel discussion (about 90 minutes):
Real Audio Windows Media

See also:

Central Asia: Region Returns To Muslim Roots

Central Asia: Regional Leaders Try to Control Islam

Unholy Alliance? Nationalism And The Russian Orthodox Church

THE COMPLETE STORY: A thematic webpage devoted to issues of religious tolerance in RFE/RL's broadcast region and around the globe.