Russian government asks parliament to rework bill on offending religion

By Reuters Staff
The Russian government has asked parliament to amend a bill that would set jail terms for “offending religious feeling” – a measure lawmakers proposed after last year’s Pussy Riot protest at a Moscow cathedral.

The magnificent Kremlin of Kazan (a UNESCO World Heritage) with its orthodox church and mosque, a symbol of coexistence among different religions.

In a statement issued on International Holocaust Remembrance Day on Sunday, the government suggested existing legislation, if altered, might suffice to protect faith communities and seemed to question the need for the bill; critics have said it may harm Jews, Muslims and others outside the Russian Orthodox Church that President Vladimir Putin has been anxious not to alienate.
One of the lawmakers who sponsored the bill, which was backed by Putin’s party and allies, said the government’s advice would be heeded. Yaroslav Nilov said a phrase seen to favour the Russian Orthodox Church would be removed and the legislation would protect all religions operating legally in Russia.



Leave a Reply