Dissent and Persecution in Russia: From Father Edelstein to Vladimir Kara-Murza

February 01, 2023
04:00 pm - 06:00 pm

This event will be hosted at the Ronald Reagan Institute. Please click here to register to attend in person and here to attend virtually. Please note that all in-person attendees are asked to arrived at the Ronald Reagan Institute no later than 3:45 p.m. In-person attendees are also invited to join a cocktail reception following the event from 6:00-7:00 p.m.

About the Event

You are invited to join the National Endowment for Democracy and the Reagan Institute on Wednesday, February 1, for “Dissent and Persecution in Russia: From Father Edelstein to Vladimir Kara-Murza.” Co-hosted by the Reagan Institute’s Center for Freedom and Democracy and the National Endowment for Democracy, the event will feature a screening of My Duty to Not Stay Silent, the newest documentary film by imprisoned Russian opposition leader, journalist, and activist Vladimir Kara-Murza, followed by a discussion on dissent and persecution in today’s Russia.

My Duty to Not Stay Silent is the remarkable story of Russian Orthodox priest and dissident Father Georgy Edelstein. After being suspended for “politically motivated dissent,” he worked hard to keep freedom of religion alive in the Soviet Union. Due to a personal petition from President Reagan, Father Edelstein was restored to his village parish. It is a film about true tolerance and true faith, the relationship between Jewishness and Christianity, the collaboration between Church leaders and a totalitarian state, and the importance of speaking the truth—no matter the consequences. Tragically, Russian citizens today face similar persecution. Modern freedom fighters like Vladimir Kara-Murza continue the struggle for freedom, following in Father Edelstein’s footsteps.

The event will feature opening remarks from Evgenia Kara-Murza, Vladimir’s wife. Following the film screening, the panel discussion moderated by the National Endowment for Democracy’s Damon Wilson will include President and Founder of the Free Russia Foundation Natalia Arno, President of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation Ambassador Andrew Bremberg, and President and CEO of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Jamie Fly.