2006-03-23 15:43:00

Appeal of the Interreligious Council in Russia to State Duma Chairman B.Gryzlov on the need to restrict the gambling business

Highly Esteemed Boris Vyacheslavovich,

A lively discussion is held today in Russian society around the existence of gambling houses. This discussion is not an empty talk as the gambling business, connived at by the authorities in previous years, has reached a truly threatening scale. The involvement of people in gambling has turned into an enormous industry, which cripples weak souls and turns Russian citizens into slaves to heartless machines and hostages to sin. The illusion of material enrichment leads to real human tragedies, such as impoverishment, family disintegration and suicide. Based on the exploitation of human vice, this business is dangerous for society. Therefore, any attempt to justify its sway by fiscal considerations appears at least immoral.

In 2005, the Russian government became concerned at last with the impact that gambling houses make on the population. At present, the State Duma is considering a series of legislative initiatives aimed to restrict the gambling business. It is a matter of principle for us that our fellow-citizens, especially the youth, should be protected against the temptation and we welcome any decision that would contribute to this protection. From our point of view, the existence of gambling houses in residential areas is inadmissible.

The last and this year, local authorities in several regions in Russia have decided to move these houses outside cities. This step has proved to be beneficial for the spiritual and moral climate in these regions and deserves therefore to be highly appreciated.

Esteemed Boris Vyacheslavovich, please take into account our point of view and bring it to the notice of all the State Duma deputies. We hope that you and your colleagues will be able to approach the problem of gambling business with all the responsibility and awareness of its significance for our society which has just embarked on the path of spiritual recovery.

Respectfully,

Pandido Khambo Lama Damba AYUSHEYEV Head of the Buddhist Traditional Sangha in Russia

Mufti Magomed-haji ALBOGACHIYEV Chairman of the Coordinating Center for the Muslims in the North Caucasus

Mufti Sheikh Ravil GAINUTDIN Chairman of the Council of Muftis in Russia

Metropolitan KIRILL of Smolensk and Kaliningrad Chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations

Berel LAZAR Chief Rabbi of Russia (FJCR)

Supreme Mufti Sheikh-ul-Islam Talgat TAJUDDIN Chairman of the Central Muslim Board in Russia

Adolf S. Shayevich Chief Rabbi of Russia (CJRCOR)