2022-06-10 14:17:00

Russian Orthodox Church concerned about prospects of ban on marches near clinics, religious sites

Moscow, June 10, Interfax - The Russian Orthodox Church has expressed concerns about the prospects of adopting a bill banning marches near religious sites, hospitals and social security establishments.

The relevant bill was submitted to the State Duma on Thursday. Besides religious sites, it also envisages a ban on rallies, marches and demonstrations at railways, in schools, near bodies of public authority, education and healthcare organizations, near children's playgrounds and sports grounds, and in some other places.

The Russian Orthodox Church believes the proposed bill contradicts the federal law on freedom of conscience, under which church services and other religious rituals are held without obstruction in religious buildings and on their territories, and also in places of pilgrimage.

"Besides, religious organizations have the right to hold religious rituals in some healthcare organizations and social security organizations such as treatment and preventative organizations, hospitals, orphanages, care homes for elderly people and people with disabilities, at the request of citizens who are there in the premises specially provided by the administrations of these establishments," Hegumeness Ksenia (Chernega), the head of the legal directorate of the Moscow Patriarchate, told Interfax.

"In this regard, I believe it is necessary to raise the issue of making amendments to this bill," she said.