HEAD OF ARKHANGELSK PROVINCE INTENDS TO "DELEGALIZE" JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES
SOVA, 7 December 2015
The acting governor of Arkhangelsk province said in an interview with an Orthodox publication that the government and church together should counteract "sects" and that the Arkhangelsk authorities are preparing to work for the prohibition of the Jehovah's Witnesses.
On 7 December 2015, the website of the Arkhangelsk diocese published an interview with the acting governor of Arkhangelsk province, Igor Orlov. In particular, in the interview the governor reported about work being conducted "in order to delegalize the Jehovah's Witnesses in Arkhangelsk province." He recalled that Jehovah's Witnesses have been banned in several regions and he confirmed that Arkhangelsk authorities are "going along the very same road."
"A person may worship Perun or whomever he wants, but he should not cause harm to others and force them to commit illegal acts. But only within the bounds of the law can one demonstrate that one or another organization does not comport with the interests of society and the state. This process is always complicated, but work is continuing," the governor said.
In the same interview, I. Orlov declared that "governmental authority should treat with respect all confessions and beliefs, if they bear a constructive character with respect to society." "To treat with respect the faith of a person is the clear duty of the government. But at the same time there also is a second duty: along with the church to oppose destructive forces that destroy human souls. Sects and all possible pseudoreligious movements represent a system of the destruction of the inner world of a person. The government should not permit that." (tr. by PDS, posted 10 December 2015)
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