Russian parliament notices American concern for Jehovah's Witnesses


Parlamentskaia Gazeta, 29 April 2017


The federal commission on religious liberty of the U.S.A. came to a conclusion about the necessity of including Russia among countries "evoking special concern" because of violation of citizens' rights to freedom on conscience, TASS reports.


In the annual report presented by the commission, it is noted that Russia for the first time has been included in the list of countries in which international nongovernmental organizations have identified cases of incidents of violations of religious liberty "bearing a systematic and continual character."


The accusations of American public leaders arose also because of the fact that Moscow, in their opinion, has tried to determine the policy of freedom of conscience in the territory of a neighboring state, interfering in the discussion of the autocephaly of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the so-called Kiev patriarchate.


The authors of the document also express concern in connection with the ruling in Russia of the community of Jehovah's Witnesses to be an extremist organization.


Considering the aforementioned incidents, members of the commission consider the possibility of appealing to American authorities to recommend effecting a change in Moscow's position by using individual sanctions of a humanitarian nature.


The U.S.A. Commission for Religious Liberty represents itself as a bi-partisan consultative agency within the federal American government, which is authorized to make political recommendations to the head of state, the secretary of state, and members of Congress. (tr. by PDS, posted 30 April 2017)

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