Russian president intervenes in court action affecting religion


Interfax-Religiia, 21 February 2019


Russian President Vladimir Putin instructed the Russian Supreme Court to summarize judicial practice for cases connected with violation of legislation on freedom of conscience and on religious associations.


V. Putin approved a list of instructions based on results of a session of the Council on Development of Civil Society and Human Rights, which was held on 11 December 2018.


The document published on the website of the Kremlin says:  "To recommend to the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation to conduct work aimed at the generalization of judicial practice in consideration by courts of cases on violation of legislation on freedom of conscience, freedom of religious confession, and on religious associations."


The pertinent report should be presented by 1 July 2019.


At a session of the Council on Development of Civil Society, V. Putin promised to conduct, along with the Supreme Court, an analysis of law enforcement practice on the question of missionary activity in Russia.


During the meeting with rights advocates, the president expressed the opinion that representatives of religious communities should not be equated with members of terrorist and destructive organizations.


The president noted that this question must be analyzed. This is how it reacted to a statement by rights advocates to the effect that in the list of organizations with respect to which there is information about involvement in extremism and terrorism, the overwhelming majority belonged to the Jehovah's Witnesses (an organization that is forbidden in the RF). (tr. by PDS, posted 21 February 2019)

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