24 May 2021, 16:51
Russian Foreign Ministry rejects USA accusations of non-observing religious freedom
Moscow, May 24, Interfax - The Russian Foreign Ministry called the US State Department's assessment of the country's policy on religious freedom" biased and non-objective".
"We would like to stress again: protection of religious rights is one of absolute state priorities for us. Russia has always been a multiconfessional state and today it shows to the world an example of it," the Russian Foreign Ministry's Ambassador-at-Large Gennady Askaldovich said in a comment posted on the Foreign Ministry's website.
US State Department has recently published its report on religious freedom and it as well refers to Russia. Speaking about the document and the report of the American Commission on Religious Freedom the diplomat said that it contains "the same set of politicized cliches and fabrications."
He stressed that all cases of banning in Russia certain religious associations or "other structures, using religion in their selfish goals" were connected only with violations of the Russian legislation, and corresponding procedures are used only in extreme cases after repeated warnings from law-enforcement agencies.
Askaldovich rejected the accusations of the State Department that the Russian Orthodox Church presumably enjoys "a special position." "It is not serious, absolutely! Every year we have to explain that the Russian Orthodox Church is Russia’s biggest religious organization acting in a wide spectrum of social sphere and we should not forget that it formed the identity of our country in many aspects," the diplomat said.
"All confessions without exception - Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, Protestants, Catholics and many others enjoy "special positions". It is historically preconditioned reality. It is an impression that American authors of these reports do not understand what they are writing about," he said.
The ambassador pointed out that Moscow does not try to interfere in confessional sphere of other states, unlike Washington, which, according to him, "more than once settled its geopolitical tasks without considering existing norms of world order, playing "a religious card" in various regions and provoking "interconfessional tensions."
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