AJC is appalled by a Russian Orthodox Church bishop’s assertion in Moscow that Jews were responsible for the deaths of Czar Nicholas II and his family in 1918, a year after the Bolshevik Revolution.

Father Tikhon Shevkunov, who heads a Russian Orthodox commission investigation of the royal family execution by firing squad, said “a significant part of the church commission has no doubt that this murder was ritual,” a clear reference to the age-old, libelous myth that Jews commit “ritual murder,” JTA reported.

“The history of antisemitism in Russia is long and painful, with dangerous and harmful repercussions,” said AJC CEO David Harris. “The ritual murder charge, coming from a Russian Orthodox priest, gives undeserved credence to a core antisemitism myth long propagated by fringe elements in Russian society,  and, more generally, fits into the incendiary conspiracy theories connecting Jews to every calamity known to humankind.”

“Any suggestion, one hundred years after Nicholas’s abdication, that Jews were somehow responsible for his death is pure slander, and should be condemned unequivocally by both church leaders and the Russian government.”

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