VILNIUS - After a 3-month economic hiatus caused from the coronavirus lockdown, the Lithuanian economy faces yet another hurdle - coming to terms with the government’s ill-fated initiative to build a conference centre on a Jewish cemetery. The decision was made in spite of wide spread international opposition from political and religious groups, which called the Lithuanian government out for its desecration of a Jewish cemetery and for invoking a policy which runs contrary to the Geneva Convention and to the EU Charter of Human Rights.

A consequence of the decision to build the conference centre is that Dr Mathew Anthony Harper, a White House press person and representative of a group of evangelicals, has called for a boycott of all tourism in Lithuania.  Christian evangelicals represent close to a billion people.

An independent poll concluded that the majority of Europeans will not visit Lithuania, if a boycott is invoked. The call for the boycott by Dr. Harper has widespread interfaith support.

Most Lithuanians see the government as being directly responsible for the economic woes that will befall the economy, post coronavirus.  Experts say that a boycott will be little comfort to an economy which needs a heavy dose of stimulus. Analysts called the government’s decision to build the conference centre as “irresponsible.”

Lithuanians wait with baited breath, in the hope that the government will reverse the plan to construct the conference centre, on the property of the Jewish cemetery.


Pieter Muller

Human Rights World Monitor


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