All confessions have equal rights in Russia

ITAR-TASS News Wire/December 19, 2000

Moscow -- Asked about his attitude to the assertion that the rights of religious minorities are infringed in Russia, Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow and All Russia said on Tuesday all confessions have equal rights in Russia and all are equal before law.

He said it is necessary to take into consideration the fact that the Russian Orthodox Church is the church with the biggest following, which, however, does not give it any advantages.

The patriarch expressed concern over the influx of various sects and pseudomissionaries into Russia. He said their activity is aimed at disuniting the people.

He noted that these religious groups are in a better position than traditional religions in Russia for the reason of being well-funded.

"Certain forces wish that there should be satanists and other sects in Russia which quite often use psychotropic means and hypnosis and scourge the souls of our compatriots," the patriarch said.

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