Giving hope to persecuted Christians since 1995
Select Page

(Forum 18) – In what seems the most serious proposal in recent years to tighten up Russia’s 1997 religion law, parliament’s religion committee has begun to consider four draft amendments, Forum 18 News Service has learned. These would make it impossible for unregistered religious organizations to hold large-scale religious meetings and allow only centralized religious organizations to invite foreigners for religious work. “If we invite a priest to Moscow as the centre of the diocese and he is to work in a completely different place, such as Kaliningrad , it will take a long time to explain to officials there why the invitation came from Moscow ,” Catholic Metropolitan Tadeusz Kondrusiewicz warned. Aleksandr Verkhovsky, editor at Sova Centre in Moscow , complained of another “dangerous” amendment allowing all religious communities applying for registration to have their religious doctrines analyzed. “This is undesirable by its very nature in a secular society – a state should not determine which religion (Orthodoxy, Pentecostalism and so on) is right and which is not.” But religious rights lawyer Anatoli Pchelintsev remains skeptical that these proposed amendments stand a chance of being adopted.