Russian lawmaker revives talk about anti-sect laws


Senator thinks it is necessary to formalize the term "destructive sect" in law

TASS, 17 November 2016


The vice-chair of the Federation Council's Committee on Constitutional Legislation and State Building, Elena Mizulina, declared the necessity of working out a package of draft laws aimed at combating destructive public associations and religious sects.


"I propose discussing the possibility of creating a working group which would conduct work on improving legislation in this area and would prepare a package of draft laws which provide a systematic approach to solving this problem," Muzulina said during a round table in the upper chamber of parliament.


The senator also thinks that the term "destructive sect" should be formalized legislatively. "It is necessary to introduce into legislation the status of organizations (sectarian organizations—TASS note) that cause harm to people, although it is difficult," she emphasized. At the present time, the senator recalled, there are no such concepts as "sect" and "destructive sect" in Russian legislation."


She said that up to 500 sects are active on Russian territory in addition to many psychic training groups and classes in personal growth, which in her opinion also may have a negative impact on the individual's psyche.


"It disturbs us that there are many of these sects in the regions of Russia, while their activity bears an underground, very secretive nature," she added. "In 2015-2016 alone, 52 sectarian organizations were liquidated on the basis of court decisions in 24 constituent elements (subjects) of the Russian federation. Something is amiss in the legislation and organization of monitoring of such organizations," the lawmaker concluded. In connection with this, the senator continued, it is necessary to deal systematically with the problem of combating destructive sects. (tr. by PDS, posted 21 November 2016)


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