Professor Crystal McCage
April, 9, 2012
The freedom of religion in the United States of America
A. Powell Davies once said: “True religion, like our founding principles, requires that the rights of the disbeliever be equally acknowledged with those of the believer” (2012). Even though it was difficult at first to leave his home country to come to the United States, freedom of religion was the main reason to move to the U.S. because life was different in the Ukraine; it was hard to relate to a totally new environment, with a strange language and even stranger cultures and customs here in the United States.
In this interview the writer wants to talk with a coworker from the Ukraine, about his childhood memories from his home country. His name is Oleg Kypytko and he is a parishioner of the Orthodox Church in Portland/ Oregon. He immigrated about twenty years ago to the United States and now lives in Washington State. The reasons he and his family moved to the United States was for religious reasons. It was difficult to learn a new language and make enough money to provide for his family. It was a total different life in the Ukraine, there was no freedom of religion and not many other freedoms. There always was a sense of being watched, because of his faith. Mr. Kypytko is from a different culture, than this writer. Most German citizens are stereotyping the people from the Ukraine as Russians. The questions for Mr. Kypytko are how far back he can remember maybe as far back as childhood even. Did he can remember the experience of a subgroup member back in the Soviet- union and the treatment of the people? How did it feel at first in the United States of America, and living in freedom to pursue his own religion? How hard was it to learn a different language and a total different culture?
There are many differences between his former life in the Soviet-union, and his life now in the United States. The country he grew up in was a total opposite of the United States and it took some time to get used to it. Those are the main questions of this paper and they will help to find out why Mr. Kypytko moved to the United States to start a new life for him and his family. It was interesting to find out he can remember this far back. The first time he felt out of place in his home country of Ukraine. The Ukraine was a part of the Soviet-union, which was created after World War II. He can remember his grandfather was prosecuted, because he was a member of a church and believed in something different than the communist party. The courts send his grandfather to Siberia in a prison camp for believing there is a greater power than man. The prison camp changed his grandfather. His parents did not go to church so often after that ordeal they started reading the bible in their house. Only at the major holidays they would visit a church, always afraid to get prosecuted.” At this time the KGB was tracking the growing influences of the Orthodox Church” (Zhuk, S. I, 2008). The family was changing the way they were handling their religious life. Mr. Oleg Kypytko always felt out of place, because in his life outside the house he had to demonize their religion. The Soviet-union did not like religious people while the Russian government was going back with their relationship with the church till 1750 (Anonymous, 2007). The polite bureau thought those people are a treat to their way of live. At first church goers were tolerated, than seen as a treat. “The KGB arrested young people for trading crosses and icons at local farmer markets” (Zhuk, S. I., 2008). As they were considered a treat, the treatment against the religious people changed. Most parishioners of the Orthodox Church in his...