The control of the missionary work: a necessary measure or a return to totalitarianism?

In Moscow held a round table on amendments to the law "On freedom of conscience..." and the code of administrative offences of the Russian Federation on missionary workAlexander Khramov,Discussion about the mission, organized by the "Russian journal" together with the magazine "Religious studies", was held at the round table, December 11, 2009 at the Russian Institute. The reason for this discussion was the amendments to the law "On freedom of conscience and on religious associations" and the Code on administrative offences of the Russian Federation, developed by the Ministry of justice of the Russian Federation. The basic meaning of the upcoming amendments - tightening control over religious life in Russia, in particular, regulation of the order of missionary activity. If the amendments are adopted, it is possible to engage in religious preaching will only representatives of registered religious groups and organizations, previously having issued the power of attorney. In addition, the bill prohibits missionary work among minors without the consent of their parents.Discussion led by Alexander Pavlov ("Russian journal") and Pavel Kostylev (magazine "Religious studies"). Kostylev has formulated the main question that were asked the audience: "Should a missionary, seeking the ultimate Truth, remain today the same as it always was, what he was like in the middle Ages, or in the conditions of modern society, its status should change?", in particular, under the influence of appropriate public policies in this matter.Religious Ekaterina Elbakyan spoke strongly against the possible intervention of the state in sectarian Affairs. According to her, in a secular state the missionary certainly must have a different status in comparison with those times when "there was slitest between government and missionary policy." Through proposed amendments governing the missionary, "there is a return to the model of totalitarianism". Ekaterina Elbakyan also said that personal experience is not faced with "aggressive missionary work". For example, in Yasenevo, where she lives, "the Jehovah's witnesses are quite considerate, although there is a myth that they are somewhere there is no rush".On this Pavel Kostylev said that to him in the apartment they just "broke". And that generally "a religious sermon from the standpoint of the absolute Truth" seems to him to aggression and violence information".Of course, the discussion of missionary work could not do without Kirill Frolov, President of the Association of Orthodox experts (it now seems so, after finally quarreled with the "Union of Orthodox citizens"). According to him, the amendments were prepared with good intentions, but require serious adjustments. "The people who wrote the bill, wrote to him against Jehovah's witnesses, but if adopted in the form in which it exists now, it ricocheted on Orthodoxy". After all, if all indiscriminately forbid to preach on the street will suffer, according to Frolov, and he did. "No one can deny me walking down the street and distribute your article about missionary policy!" she complained Orthodox expert". Frolov proposed to revise the amendment and declare the law that "the Orthodox mission should not be subject to the restrictive requirements imposed to other religions".Sergey Roganov, columnist for "Arguments and Facts", could not resist in amazement and exclaimed: "How can you, being in the legal field, to divide denominations?", giving preference to one and imposing prohibitive measures on the other?As journalist and blogger Sergei Chodiev, challenging Frolov, said: if the Church relies on the support of the state ("the state suppressed the evil heretics, and us, right, defended"), it leads to disastrous consequences for her. "If the policeman, as in tsarist Russia, will drive the cultists benefits it will bring", and the official Church will only lose their followers.Journalist Mikhail Sitnikov spoke out strongly against state interference in the internal Affairs of religious organizations, including missionary work. However, the state must monitor the abuse on this ground because "there is a danger for the secular society, which consists in the manipulation of religious beginning in the human mind" and to "promote a particular ideology under the guise of missionary work". "If to speak about any state regulation, it is possible to formulate it was not "the law of missions," and "the act of falsification of missionary work" , - says Mikhail Sitnikov.And Yuri Girenko (the editor of "the View"), although it is said that "active missionary activity can be the key of hatred in society," still believes that the governance of this area is sufficient Penal code and the law on extremism. "The adoption of another law will only complicate the situation.".

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