• Civilmedia09, Day 3: New Media and Religious Minorities in Russia (Victor Khroul)
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Internet and mobile media give new opportunities for religious minorities activity in Russia, especially when religious freedom is more and more restricted and the access to traditional media is more and more limited. The activity of religious minorities in Russia and is very much determined by three major factors: relations of the minority with the government (state authorities), with civil society and with other religions. Since religious minorities direct influence to „decision makers“ is very limited, they use new media – mostly Internet-based – to be heard and understood, to draw the attention of the whole society to the problems in this area. According to surveys, conducted in Moscow State University, Keston Institute, SOVA Center and other research centers, subjects, addresses and forms of human rights activity vary very much from one minority to other. And the national media coverage of their life, according to surveys, is proportional to their „obedience“ to the government. This paper is focused on the media activity of most influent religious minorities in Russia – Muslims, Jews, Catholics and Protestants. Despite on the common background for human rights activity – first of all, the right to believe, to worship and witness – the „profiles“ of religious minorities new media usage and human rights activity are very different.