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News – Russia moves against religions

January 2009

Russia moves against religions


Forum 18 News Service reports that in October 2008 Russia published a list of 56 centralised religious organisations scheduled to be shut down, apparently for not submitting correct accounting information to the Justice Ministry. The list of organisations includes Old Believer, Armenian Apostolic, Catholic, Protestant, Nestorian, Muslim and Buddhist organisations.

     More than half of all centralised religious organisations in Russia belong to the Russian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate), but no Russian Orthodox organisations are on the liquidation list.

     Religious rights lawyer Vladimir Ryakhovsky of the Moscow-based Slavic Centre for Law and Justice told Forum 18 News Service that the Russian Orthodox organisations were forewarned by the Justice Ministry about their accounting report problems.

     Russia’s constitution since 1993 guarantees equality before the law for all religious associations.

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