FECRIS vice-president, Alexander Dvorkin, persona non grata in Ukraine, criticizes the Maidan movement
By Willy Fautré, Human Rights Without Frontiers
KYIV, 12.05.2014 (HRWF) – Alexander Dvorkin, vice-president of FECRIS (*) and chairman of the Russian Association of Centres for the Study of Religions and Sects, has been complaining in numerous Russian media in the last few weeks that he was denied entry in Ukraine because of the international “sectarian lobby” behind the Maidan movement in Kyiv.
Dvorkin had been invited by the Archbishop of Lugansk and Alchevsk Mitrofan (Ukrainian Orthodox Church/ Moscow Patriarchate) to give some lectures about sects on 9-10 April in Lugansk (Eastern Ukraine). He was denied entry in Ukraine at the airport of Donetsk and sent back to Russia.
The official reason justifying his deportation was that he had been seen with the wife of Gubarev, the self-proclaimed governor of Donetsk.
During a broadcast of the Russian radio station “Komsomolskaïa Pravda”, Dvorkin denied any link with Gubarev and accused the international “sectarian lobby” of standing behind “the coup of Kyiv” as well as his deportation.
Like other pro-Russian and Russian Orthodox extremists, Dvorkin discredited the Maidan movement, saying that the Acting President, Alexander Tourtchynov was a Baptist – which is true -, his Prime Minister Arseni Yatseniuk is a Scientologist his sister chairs a major scientologist organization in the USA – both accusations spread by Interfax-Religion, a Russian press agency, and checked as false by Human Rights Without Frontiers (**).
With such allegations, pro-Russian extremists in Ukraine want to show that the Maidan movement is an American plot supported by non-Orthodox/ anti-Orthodox new religious movements and that “foreign sects” are now in power in Kyiv with some extreme-right elements.
(*) European Federation of Centres of Research and Information on Cults and Sects
(**) See http://www.interfax-religion.com/?act=news&div=11127 (5 March 2014)
FECRIS correspondent in Ukraine campaigns with China against Falun Gong in Ukraine
By Willy Fautré/Igor Shershuny, Human Rights Without Frontiers
HRWF (12.05.2014) – The Ukrainian National Center Of Religious Safety And Help To Victims Of Destructive Cults Organisation “Dialogue” a FECRIS correspondent in Ukraine, has launched a campaign against Falun Gong practitioners. It has published the following article on its website under the title “The Falun Gong sect recruits Kherson residents under the guise of an art exhibition”:
The Kherson branch of the Union of Artists of Ukraine for two weeks made available its showroom in Ushakov street, 30/1 to the Chinese Falun Gong sect to be able to recruit citizens. On 15th April the sectarians announced the opening of the Chinese painting exhibition “Truth, Compassion, and Forbearance”.
HRWF Comment: The art exhibition is to show paintings made by artists who practice Falun Gong. See the website http://en.falunart.org/ The goal of the exhibition is not “to recruit citizens” as visitors are never asked/requested to practice Falun Gong.
Followers of the leader of the Falun Gong movement, Li Hongzhi , who was sentenced to death in absentia in China and is currently living in the United States, demonstrate the exhibition under this name in many cities around the world. The sectarians brought to Kherson 32 paintings painted by seven Falun Gong practitioners from Japan, United States, Taiwan and Canada, with the paintings made primarily with oil in the spirit of “traditional realism” and with ink on silk – in the “Chinese style”. At these exhibitions Falun Gong recruiters invite visitors to their ranks, introducing themselves as a community of “an ancient system of moral and physical perfection” – Falun Dafa. The repressions of the “perfected people” by the Chinese communist regime form a separate storyline.
HRWF Comment: The wording of this anti-sect organization is meant to slander Falun Gong.
About the founder of Falun Gong, Mr. Li Hongzhi: he was living in New York before 1999 when the persecution started. The Chinese authorities cancelled his passport so that he could not travel. There was never a question of a death sentence; however, it is true that the Chinese authorities sent agents in order to kill him. All attempts failed.
Thus the sectarians take measures against possible exposure: they already prepare the recruited people to the fact that while trying to learn more about movement, they will face verbal abuse from the People’s Republic of China. First, all Falun Gong adherents are afraid of information in the public domain about mass suicides amongst Falun Gong practitioners,, in the late 1990s in China, after which the sect was banned in China. In particular, the world then saw the videos of self-immolation. The leaders of the sect announced that these videos were of fanatics trained by the Chinese special forces. These fanatics self-immolated with the sole purpose to discredit the peaceful teaching that became more popular than Maoism.
At the same time, Chinese specialists in the field of sects and their counterparts in other countries warned about the danger posed by the Falun Gong cult to the lives, welfare and mental wellbeing of its adherents. Unfortunately, the Kherson Art ministers thought that rent was more important. The Internet site “Ukraine the Sectarian” encourages the people of Kherson to boycott the exhibition and to warn others about the dangers of the sect.”
HRWF Comment: All Falun Gong practices and teaching material are open to the public. To practice Falun Gong is open and free. The Chinese regime promoted it in the early 1990s for its beneficial effects on health and morality. After the persecution started, all the Chinese media began to slander and defame Falun Gong in support of the policy of the Chinese authorities based on repression and demonization. Orthodox radicals and former Communists in Ukraine are on the same line as Beijing on this issue.
In China, Falun Gong has never been linked to mass suicides, even in the state media. The Chinese authorities defame Falun Gong by making it responsible for individual cases of murders and suicides. These are all fabricated by the regime.
A self-immolation case at Chinese New Year Eve in 2001: see analyses of a video about a case of self-immolation issued by CCTV.
Washington Post: Reporter Finds Holes in China’s Tiananmen Immolation Story
National Review: Beijing is Burning – More lies from the PRC
MediaChannel: The Fires This Time: Immolation Or Deception In Beijing
WOIPFG: Investigation Uncovers More Lies in Chinese Regime’s Story of Tragic Self-Immolation Incident
FalunInfo: The Tiananmen Square “Self-Immolation”
Epochtimes: Tiananmen Square Self-Immolation? Actually a Hoax
Amnesty International: Another important part of the government’s propaganda campaign has been to publicize statements from people identified as former Falun Gong practitioners…
Reporters Without Borders: China’s determination to prevent the foreign press from covering the activities and government repression of the Falun Gong clearly illustrates its rejection of independent news gathering.
The English film “False Fire” http://www.falsefire.com/, which examines the suspicious points of the Tiananmen “self-immolation” incident, won an honorary award at the 51st Columbia International Film Festival for its analytical approach and exposure of this tragic event.
A Washington Post reporter Philip Pan went to China to investigate this self-immolation and found out those people were not Falun Gong practitioners. See his article “Human Fire Ignites Chinese Mystery”.
For more information about religious freedom issues in Ukraine in 2014, see HRWF database: