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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

06/19/1997

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Duma Restricts Religions In Russia

The State Duma voted overwhelmingly Wednesday in favor of religious legislation that would protect Russia's traditional faiths while severely restricting activities of minority religious groups and missionaries. Critics say the bill is a gross violation of the constitutional guarantee of freedom of conscience, but supporters, including the Russian Orthodox Church, say it will prevent division of Russia along religious lines and protect Russians against destructive cults. As the chancellor of the Russian Orthodox Church and Russia's chief imam and rabbi looked on approvingly from the government box, the Duma voted 337 to 5 to advance the bill to second reading. The bill, ""On Freedom of Conscience and Religious Associations,"" dramatically reverses liberal legislation adopted in 1990. It is expected to pass on third reading as early as Friday and then face smooth sailing in the Federation Council, the upper house. President Boris Yeltsin has not indicated whether he would sign it.

Duma Restricts Religions In Russia

The State Duma voted overwhelmingly Wednesday in favor of religious legislation that would protect Russia's traditional faiths while severely restricting activities of minority religious groups and missionaries. Critics say the bill is a gross violation of the constitutional guarantee of freedom of conscience, but supporters, including the Russian Orthodox Church, say it will prevent division of Russia along religious lines and protect Russians against destructive cults. As the chancellor of the Russian Orthodox Church and Russia's chief imam and rabbi looked on approvingly from the government box, the Duma voted 337 to 5 to advance the bill to second reading. The bill, ""On Freedom of Conscience and Religious Associations,"" dramatically reverses liberal legislation adopted in 1990. It is expected to pass on third reading as early as Friday and then face smooth sailing in the Federation Council, the upper house. President Boris Yeltsin has not indicated whether he would sign it.

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