Wednesday, March 21, 2012

US Commission Rebukes Rel. Freedom in Russia; Finds Russia Intolerant of Non-Orthodox Religions

The Big News Network website reports today (March 21, 2012) that a U.S. government commission on religious freedom has included Russia in a list of countries that require "close monitoring."

The annual report of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) has included Russia due to concerns about extremism, treatment of non-traditional religions, and hate crimes.

The USCIRF report states, "In the past year (2011), the Russian government increased its use of anti-extremism legislation against religious groups and individuals not known to use or advocate violence."

It adds, "Russian officials continue to deem certain religious and other groups alien to Russian culture and society, thereby contributing to a climate of intolerance." The vast majority of Russians adhere to the Greek Orthodox faith.