By: Eric Patterson
Russia recently imposed new restrictions on religious groups outside the Russian Orthodox Church. Although some allege that this is a return to a Stalinist state, these actions are best understood in the immediate context of September’s parliamentary elections as well as in the longer term as Russia’s continuing suspicion of “foreign” influences.
Permanent Link: https://www.religiousfreedominstitute.org/cornerstone/2016/9/2/russia-restricts-religious-libertyagain
By: Geraldine Fagan
This July, Vladimir Putin introduced the severest restrictions on religious freedom in Russia since the Soviet era. The regulations on ‘missionary activity’ form part of a sprawling package of legislation nicknamed the Yarovaya law after its main sponsor. Its express aim is “to counter terrorism and ensure public safety.” The new controls are the long-awaited fruit of fierce lobbying by opponents of religious freedom in Russia.
Permanent Link: https://www.religiousfreedominstitute.org/cornerstone/2016/8/30/new-curbs-on-religious-freedom-cast-soviet-shadow-over-russia
By: Paul Goble
Students of Russia know that court decisions there do not have precedential value, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t precedents in Russian legal practice. One of the most typical and despicable is now very much on public view: the application of harsh new laws to minorities lacking in support, in order to define the limits of the permissible and set the stage for attacks on other larger and more popular faiths later, effectively recreating the situation Pastor Niemoeller described in Nazi Germany.
Permanent Link: https://www.religiousfreedominstitute.org/cornerstone/2016/8/30/an-all-too-typical-political-precedent-in-russia-yarovaya-laws-hit-minority-faiths-first
By: Elizabeth A. Clark
As of July 20th of this year, ordinary Russian citizens and foreigners living in Russia face enormous fines for sharing their beliefs, even if they do so in their own homes. This represents a new level of repression of free speech and civil society in post-Soviet Russia.
Permanent Link: https://www.religiousfreedominstitute.org/cornerstone/2016/8/30/russias-new-anti-missionary-law-in-context
By: Carl H. Esbeck
It is notable when, in an outbreak of modesty, a liberal democratic state acknowledges that there are limits on its power that have their origin in understandings that preexist the nation’s founding charter but are protected by it. In Kedroff v. St. Nicholas Cathedral (1952), the North American Archdiocese of the Russian Orthodox Church had broken communion with the Patriarchate in Moscow. The cause of the disaffection, coming as it did at the height of the Red Scare, can be summed up by a fear that the Mother Church had been co-opted by Stalinist brutality and Soviet politics. A consequential disagreement involving church polity led to a lawsuit over possession of St. Nicholas Cathedral. Situated in New York City, the Cathedral is the seat and symbol of ecclesiastical authority of the Russian Orthodox faith in all of Canada and the United States.
Permanent Link: https://www.religiousfreedominstitute.org/cornerstone/2016/6/16/freedom-of-the-church