Republic of Moldova: Religious Discrimination Issues

In a small, poorly developed country like Republic of Moldova the matter on discrimination on different basis is quite common. After a study made by the European Union Experts there were some reports of societal abuses and discrimination based on religious affiliation, belief, or practice.

Jehovah's Witnesses reported 33 abuse cases, including verbal abuse, property damage, and threats of physical violence. They alleged that in many cases priests in rural areas instigated hatred and aggression against their adherents. Jehovah's Witnesses also complained about the lack of action from law enforcement in cases when they did report abuses. Authorities punished offenders in only in seven of the 33 reported abuse cases, and the punishments generally were fines in the range of 100-200 lei ($8.50-$17).

Following the registration of the Islamic League, the MOC condemned the registration and voiced concern over the danger of "imminent troubles in society in the name of Allah." On May 18 the Moldovan Alliance of Orthodox Organizations organized the first of several anti-Islamic protests. Hundreds assembled in front of the government building, carrying crosses, icons, and bells. Groups held similar protests in Balti, Cahul, Ungheni, and other towns. A leader of the Islamic League said Orthodox groups led by the Pro-Ortodoxia. Association incited followers to hatred and violence against Muslims. Following the protests, the Islamic League noted the presence of more negative attitudes in society, signified by the derogatory messages at the protests and in subsequent mass media messages that identified Muslims with pedophilia, homosexuality, and terrorism. The Islamic League did not, however, report any problems with the police.

Representatives of the Jewish community reported inadequate responses of law enforcement agencies with respect to alleged incidents of anti-Semitism. According to the Jewish Congress, the investigation of the murder of a Jewish family in August 2010 dragged on for over a year without results.
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