Russia’s blasphemy laws: a step in the right direction

A tough new anti-blasphemy law that takes effect in Russia on July 1 allows for fines up to 300,000 rubles ($9,000) and imprisonment for up to 2 years for public acts that “manifest patent disrespect for society and are committed with the aim of offense to the religious feelings of believers.” The penalties for offenses are increased if the acts take place in houses of worship.

Human-rights activists have expressed concern about the new law, seeing potential for abuses, including the use of secular courts to resolve religious disputes. But Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin, the chief public-affairs official of the Orthodox Patriarchate of Moscow, welcomed the legislation and suggested that the penalties may be “too mild.”

Quote source

Catholic World News (2013). Tough Anti-blasphemy Law Takes Effect in Russia. Available http://www.catholicculture.org/news/headlines/index.cfm?storyid=18312. Last accessed 9th Aug 2014.

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