Russia’s increasing challenge to religious liberty.
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• The Krishna Conscience Society was declared to be a “dangerous totalitarian sect.”
• Works by Muslim theologian Said Nursi were seized.
• Charges were brought against members of a Nursi reading group.
• A local Jehovah’s Witnesses group was liquidated.
• The Islamic organization Nurjular was banned.
• The Islamic organization Tablighi Jamaat was outlawed.
• The Russian Supreme Court upheld the prohibition of numerous Jehovah’s Witnesses publications.
• A local Jehovah’s Witnesses congregation was banned and its meeting hall was seized.
• An investigation was opened against the Church of Scientology over the charge of extremism.
• A city court ruled that Scientology literature was extremist.
• The Russian Justice Ministry targeted 56 religious groups for liquidation for allegedly failing to file official reports. The faiths included: Armenian Apostolic, Buddhist, Catholic, Muslim, Nestorian, and Protestant.
It’s an imposing list. But there are more examples. Many religions and individual congregations have suffered from a raid, prosecution, banning, dissolution, arrest, penalty, restriction, seizure, investigation, confiscation, detention, or other attack from the state authorities. Non-traditional, proselytizing faiths have suffered the most.
The European Court of Human Rights has become the final resort for some desperate Russians. In October 2006 the justices ruled for the Salvation Army. A year later the ECHR supported the Church of Scientology. Last October it again ruled against Russia and in favor of the Scientologists. In June the ECHR held that a 2004 ban on the Moscow’s Jehovah’s Witnesses violated articles on freedom of thought, conscience, worship, and assembly of the European Convention on Human Rights, which has been ratified by Russia.
In the latter case the court stated that “the Moscow authorities did not act in good faith and neglected their duty of neutrality and impartiality.” Moreover, the government had interfered with “the religious organization’s right to freedom of association and also with its right to freedom of religion.”
Unfortunately, Russia does not treat decisions of the ECHR as authoritative.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?
H/T to National Review Online