Protestant believers denied right to assemble in residence


SOVA Center for News and Analysis, 30 January 2019


On 29 January 2019, the Ostankino district court of Moscow prohibited the activity of a religious group of Christians of Evangelical Faith (Pentecostals) on the basis of complaints of neighbors in a communal apartment.


The room in which meetings of believers were conducted is located within the property of one of the members of the congregation. His neighbor in the communal apartment wrote to the prosecutor's office: "It is uncomfortable for me when they worship there in their place."


"The plaintiff did not indicate just what and just how in these circumstances his rights and legal interests (requirements of fire safety; sanitary and hygiene, ecological, and other requirements of legislation; and also rules of the use of residences) are violated, if worship services, ceremonies, and rituals are performed in the room of the defendant, while the plaintiff is the owner of other rooms of the communal apartment," the attorney Konstantin Andreev commented on the court's decision. The plaintiff maintained that the services are conducted in the premises that are shared property. The services are conducted exclusively within the room of the defendant."


We recall that current legislation (article 16, 24.1 of the federal law "On freedom of conscience and religious associations") permits the conduct by religious associations of worship services in residences.


The attorney intends to challenge the court's decision. (tr. by PDS, posted 30 January 2019)

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