Moscow patriarchate likes changes in religion law


RIA Novosti, 24 March 2021


The draft law "On certification of clergy," which was adopted on Wednesday in the State Duma on third reading, "prevents attempts to split traditional confessions," RIA Novosti was told in the legal department of the Moscow patriarchate.


It was earlier reported that the State Duma, in plenary session on Wednesday, passed changes in the federal law "On freedom of conscience and religious association" in part improving the legal regulation of the activity of religious associations.


The R.P.Ts. [Russian Orthodox Church] recalled that the draft law adopted by the State Duma provides the possibility to strengthen in the charters of centralized religious organizations the prohibition on the withdrawal or expulsion of local religious organizations that are a part of the structure of centralized religious organizations.


Also according to the document, only legal entities whose founders (members) are religious organizations have the right to include in their names information about religious confession, the department noted.


"Exception to this rule is provided only for public organizations or movements who get the possibility of indicating information about religious confession in their names by having the written consent of a centralized religious organization of the respective affiliation. This will permit such public organizations and movements as the 'Union of Orthodox Woman,' the 'Union of Orthodox Citizens,' and the like to retain their name while complying with the aforesaid conditions," the Russian church concludes.


The main goal of the authors, according to an explanatory note in the draft bill, is "to prevent participation in the activity of religious organizations by clergy who received religious education abroad and are disseminating an extremist religious ideology," and also to prevent "drawing members of a religious group into extremist activity and activity aimed at financing terrorism." (tr. by PDS, posted 25 March 2021)

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