Vladimir Putin strammer grebet om religionsfriheden. Fra næste uge må man tilhøre en godkendt organisation for at kunde forkynde. Det er samme opskrift som overfor NGO’er. Myndighederne må kontrollere all virksomhed. Frikirkerne advarer om tilbagevenden til sovjetiske tilstander.
Illevarslende nok er den nye lov del af en anti-terrorlov.
All faiths are potentially affected, including the Russian Orthodox Church, but smaller denominations are particularly vulnerable to its chilling effects on freedom of conscience. Evangelical and charismatic Christians often worship in house churches, and a broad interpretation of the legislation would mean such gatherings are banned. Some evangelical denominations reject state registration as a matter of conscience.
As Protestant leaders wrote in an open letter to Mr. Putin, “Soviet history shows how many people of different faiths have been persecuted for spreading the word of God. This law brings us back to a shameful past.”
Putin er kendt for at bekæmpe civilsamfundet, og den nye lov føjer sig ind i rækken av tilsvarende love.
The legislation is part of a broader crackdown on independent civil society in Russia that also includes tough new restrictions on foreign think tanks. It’s a reminder of Russia’s tragic failure to develop a free society following the collapse of communism.