Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Russia Weaponizing Religion in War on Ukraine Says Christian Persecution Watchdog

| Press Kit


Santa Ana, CA (July 10, 2023) – Russia has been waging a brutal campaign against Christians in Ukraine since the beginning of the invasion, cautions Global Christian Relief, America’s leading watchdog of Christian persecution. Russian soldiers have destroyed, damaged or looted nearly 500 religious buildings and houses of worship in Ukraine, and killed, imprisoned or tortured at least two dozen religious leaders.  

“These targeted attacks carried out by Russian forces against Ukranian Christians and religious groups essentially constitutes a cultural genocide campaign,” said David Curry, CEO of Global Christian Relief. “Churches are soft targets, which means they are typically exposed and have little security against an invading army. They hold significant spiritual and cultural value for communities and destroying them is a deliberate attempt by Russia to demoralize Ukrainians.” 

Leaders of the Russian Orthodox Church have helped justify the war by giving it their blessing and condoning the violence through rhetoric cloaked in religious language. These leaders also view the Orthodox Church of Ukraine as illegitimate, giving an additional pretext for permitting the invasion. 

Religious freedom has declined in Russia since the late 1990s. Christians and religious groups often face fines and repercussions for missionary activities that are considered illegal under unclear laws. The U.S. State Department has designated Russia as a Country of Particular Concern for engaging in systematic violations of religious freedom.  

Global Christian Relief is calling on the international community to hold Russian military and church leaders to account for their war on Christianity.  

For interviews with David Curry, please contact Guardian at: [email protected]. 

About Global Christian Relief

Global Christian Relief (GCR) is America’s leading watchdog organization focused on the plight of persecuted Christians worldwide. In addition to equipping the Western church to advocate and pray for the persecuted, GCR works in the most restrictive countries to protect and encourage Christians threatened by faith-based discrimination and violence. Dr. David Curry, president of GCR, currently serves on the United States Commission on Religious Freedom. For more information, visit