In the Public chamber of the Russian Federation held a round table on relationship between religious associations and the armed forces

November 20, in the Public chamber of the Russian Federation in preparation for the public hearings that will be held on December 9, held a round table on relationship between religious associations and the armed forces, the press service of the Slavic legal center. The round table was attended by representatives of religious associations, the Ministry of defence of the Russian Federation, members of the Public chamber of the Russian Federation and scientists.The host of the event was the Chairman of the Commission of the Public chamber of the Russian Federation on Affairs of veterans, military personnel and their families Alexander Kanshin.As noted by a member of the Public chamber of the Russian Federation, the representative of the organization "Catholic heritage" Yaroslav Ternovsky, the principle of freedom of conscience should be implemented in the army, moreover, that the priests are already working, and the legal basis for their activity have not yet been released. In addition, the question of how will work in the armed forces of other denominations. According to Ternovsky, if Catholic priests and not invited to military units, but may not discriminate against.The leader of the Russian Union of Evangelical Christians Alexander Semchenko also stressed that the army is likely to allow only a single large denomination, and the rest can be subjected to discrimination and infringement of the rights of believers. This should be avoided.The representative of the Ministry of defense of the Russian Federation Colonel Igor Sergienko informed the participants of the round table, on behalf of the management is working on the introduction of the Institute of military chaplains in the armed forces. The first phase will be completed in December 2009 and the second phase will take place in 2010. In the framework of the Ministry of defense established a working group on the introduction of military clergy. The number of priests working in the army, will be 250 people.The head of the Club of Orthodox philanthropists Andrew poklonskaya urged to introduce the institution of military chaplains urgently. In his opinion, the army should be allowed only representatives of the four "traditional" religions. Thus, mufti Shafig Pshikhachev was preferred to the clergy of various religions were represented in the armed forces in proportion. During the round table were made by the representatives of Adventists, Jews and other associations.Chief editor of "Religion and law", Professor RGGU lawyer Anatoly Pchelintsev said that over the last 20 years, when I discussed the implementation of the principle of freedom of conscience for military personnel and presence of religion in the army, in Russia from a legal standpoint, little has changed. He also noted: "In 1991 during a trip to the USA I was able to visit the air force Academy in Colorado, where I became acquainted with the work of military chaplains. All chaplains were 9 people - among them was an Orthodox priest with the rank of captain, who helped the nine Orthodox soldiers. The government has found the means to contain the military priest for such a small number of soldiers". According to Pchelintsev, this is a vivid indicator of the warranty of freedom of conscience. The state must do so, not because we go out in practice - comes the priest of the ROC MP and the rest of you just not allowed.According to Pchelintsev, until the 1917 revolution in military units were allowed not only the Orthodox clergy. Therefore, it is reasonable to along with Orthodox in the army could be and Ministers from other religious organizations - Muslims, Catholics, Protestants. Mullah, priest or pastor might be one of the whole military district, and he could go around his flock, and Orthodox priests let them be in each connection. In addition, as noted Pchelintsev, now a paradoxical situation, when the Geneva Convention relative to the treatment of prisoners of war (1949) guarantees more rights in the sphere of realization of the right to freedom of conscience, than the Russian legislation. In particular, article 8 of the Federal law "On status of servicemen" reads:"The state has no obligation to meet the needs of military personnel associated with their religious beliefs and the need to worship.The creation of religious associations in military units is not allowed. Religious ceremonies in the territory of a military unit can be sent on request troops at their own expense with the permission of the commander.".

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