Tuesday, May 21, 2013

US: Russia Restricts Religious Freedom

Russia is among several countries around the world including Saudi Arabia, North Korea, Cuba, Iran, and China that imposed restrictions on freedom of religion last year, according to an annual report released Monday by the US State Department. According to the International Religious Freedom Report for 2012, the Russian government “targeted members of minority religious groups through the use of extremism charges to ban religious materials and restrict groups’ right to assemble.” It said authorities also “restricted religious minorities through detention, raids, denial of official registration with the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) and denial of visas to religious workers.” “There is no state religion, but the Russian Orthodox Church and other ‘traditional’ religious communities received preferential consideration,” the report found. The annual report details the status of religious freedom in 195 countries throughout the world. Mandated by, and presented to, the US Congress, under the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998.


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