Website against harassment of Hindus in Russia

London, England - A Hindu group based in the UK has launched a website to deal with issues surrounding the alleged harassment of Russian Hindus by the country's Orthodox Church and Government.

The website www.Defendrussianhindus.Org - launched by the Defend Russian Hindus Campaign here - includes a history of the harassment of Russian Hindus, latest news about the campaign, press stories, downloadable presentations, pictures and documents and contact details for sending protest letters.

The campaign, launched at the House of Commons last month by parliamentarians and members of various communities, gathered steam after certain objectionable comments were allegedly made against a Hindu diety by the Archbishop of the Russian Orthodox Church, who also reportedly urged the Mayor of Moscow to stop the construction of a Hindu temple in the Russian capital.

"There are over 60,000 Hindus in Russia. In Moscow alone, there are thousands of Hindus of Indian and Russian origin. However, this peaceful community is being denied a simple right to have a place of worship where they can pray, counsel and celebrate their faith," said Ramesh Kallidai, Secretary General of the Hindu Forum of Britain.

Supporters of the campaign include the Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, who recently handed a letter of protest to the visiting Mayor of Moscow Yuri Luzhkov. Minister for Europe Douglas Alexander has said that Britain would discuss the issue with Russia.

An Early Day Motion in the House of Commons expressing concern about the harassment of Russian Hindus and extending support to the campaign has so far received the support of 57 British MPs.