Russia's Supreme Soviet Ends Religious Repression Hot

Russia's Supreme Soviet Ends Religious Repression

Kremlin, Moscow

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In Russia, the Supreme Soviet ends decades of religious repression with a new declaration forbidding government interference in religious activities and giving citizens the right to study religion in homes and private schools.

The Soviet constitution officially protects freedom of conscience, but that hasn't always been honored in practice. This new law is thus designed to reinforce a principle that is already supposed to be part of the constitutional order: that politicians must not interfere with private religious activity.

Entitled "Law of the USSR on Freedom of Conscience and Religious Organizations," it says:

"This law guarantees the right of citizens to decide and express their attitude towards religion, to convictions corresponding to this and to the unhindered confession of a religion and the performance of religious rites, and also to equality and protection of the rights of citizens regardless of their attitude towards religion, and it regulates the relations connected with the activities of religious activities."

It grants legal status to religious parishes and religious organizations, removes restrictions on religious publishing and charity, and eliminates discriminatory taxes on church employees.


Meeting of the Supreme Soviet, 1983

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