harry potter
Copies of the book of the play of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child parts One and Two are displayed at a bookstore in London on July 31, 2016. REUTERS


  • A Russian ultra-conservative group demanded that the Russian Ministry of Culture ban all materials related to "Harry Potter"
  • A member of the Russian State Duma called the proposal to ban "Harry Potter" too extreme
  • A 10-year-old Ukrainian refugee in the U.K. met one of the film series' actors at a Christmas event

Russian Orthodox activists are calling for a ban on "Harry Potter" books and films in the country, according to the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense (MoD).

The ministry tweeted Tuesday that Russian activists accused J.K. Rowling, the author of the books, of "promoting satanism."

The MoD joked that Russian intelligence "has learned about the sale of a large quantity of flying 'brooms' by the [United Kingdom] to Ukraine, as early as the start of the Christmas holidays."

The Forty Forties (Sorok Sorokov) Movement, an ultra-conservative Orthodox Christian group, urged Russian Culture Minister Olga Lyubimova to ban all materials, including films and books, related to "Harry Potter," alleging that they are "propaganda of witchcraft and satanism," Russian outlet Moscow City News Agency reported.

The group claimed that the fantasy series "corrupts and mows down the young souls of our children," according to the Russian online newspaper Mash.

Forty Forties also alleged that "Harry Potter" was part of the Western culture alienating Russian spiritual values. The movement proposed to strengthen the power of the Russian Ministry of Culture so it could quickly ban all materials "for the sake of preserving Russian spiritual values."

But Alexander Sholokhov, the first deputy chairman of the Russian State Duma, told the Moscow City News Agency that he opposed such a move.

Sholokhov described the Orthodox activists' request as too extreme.

"Such a search for witches can be done indefinitely. In fact, Satanism thrives much more luxuriantly in other ways. And this is a children's fairy tale that conquered the whole world," Sholokhov said. "I think that this is definitely too much. And, perhaps, it is worth looking for more false things that destroy the public consciousness than 'Harry Potter.'"

While the "Harry Potter" series is being persecuted in Russia, a Ukrainian girl in the U.K. got to meet one of its film actors Wednesday.

The 10-year-old Ruslana, an avid fan of the novel, got the chance to meet Rupert Grint, who played Ronald Weasley in the film adaptation, during the Highgate Christmas lights switch-on in London.

The meet-up was arranged after Rachel Heath, the British woman sponsoring Ruslana's family in the U.K., worked to make the child's Christmas unforgettable, Ham&High reported.

Olga, Ruslana's mother, told Ham&High that her daughter watched the movies several times and has read four of the books.

Ruslana and her family arrived in the U.K. in May after fleeing Ukraine as Russia launched a military offensive against their country.

She left her father in Ukraine and her two pets named after the fictional characters Harry and Ron.

Olga said Ruslana misses their home country, but she still feels optimistic and very excited about her new life in the U.K.

"My daughter was more flexible with this. She missed Ukraine very much, but she was very excited about everything new and that she's in the 'Harry Potter' country," Olga said.

Ruslana is currently studying the Ukrainian education curriculum through remote learning. At the same time, she is also taking British education.

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British author JK Rowling poses with a copy of her book "Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince" at Edinburgh Castle in Scotland, July 15, 2005. Reuters