Law on Religion for the Russian Federation

Sunday, 22 June 1997 ADDITIONAL AMENDMENTS MADE TO LAW ON RELIGION FOR 'THIRD READING' OF DUMA, by Lawrence Uzzell On Saturday I obtained a copy of the revised text of the new legislation on religion, which at last word is to be taken up by the Duma for its 'third reading' on Monday. Note the following, especially important points: the elevation of Islam in the preamble; the softening in Article 2 of the commitment to respect Russia's obligations under international human-rights pacts; Article 4's further broadening of subsidies to religious organizations; the narrowing of parental rights in Article 5; the deletion of charitable activities from the list of those authorised for 'religious groups' in Article 7; and the substitution of 'association' for 'organization' in Article 27, which will require so-called 'religious groups' to go through a formal registration process even though they will not enjoy the rights stemming from registration. Many of the changes in the text which I received on Saturday are merely stylistic, and sometimes involve such fine shades of meaning or word order that they would not affect an English translation. In the translation which follows I have ignored nearly all merely stylistic changes and have concentrated on those which in my judgment have substantive importance.  New wording appears in ALL-CAPITAL LETTERS; wording in the 18 June text which has now been omitted is enclosed in brackets < >. Preamble: 'Respecting Orthodoxy as an inseparable part of the all- Russian historical, spiritual and cultural heritage, AND EQUALLY ISLAM WITH ITS MILLIONS OF MEMBERS, AND ALSO Buddhism, Judaism and other religions traditionally existing in the Russian Federation;' Article 1: 'This federal law regulates the legal relationships IN THE AREA OF THE RIGHTS OF MAN AND CITIZEN to freedom of conscience and to freedom of creed , and ALSO the legal status of religious associations.' Article 2, point 2: 'The rights of man and citizen to freedom of conscience and to freedom of creed are regulated by federal law.   laws and other normative legal acts ENACTED IN THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION AND affecting THE REALISATION OF freedom of conscience, freedom of creed and ALSO the activities of religious associations must be consistent with this federal law....' Article 2, Point 3. Nothing in the law on freedom of conscience...may be interpreted in such a way as to diminish or limit the right OF MAN AND CITIZEN to freedom of conscience and freedom of creed, as established by the Constitution of the Russian Federation or stemming from INTERNATIONAL TREATIES OF THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION.' Article 3, Point 2: 'The right OF MAN AND CITIZEN to freedom of conscience and to freedom of creed may be restricted by federal law only to the extent to which this is necessary for the goals of defending the foundations of the constitutional system...' Article 4, Point 2: 'In accordance with the constitutional principle of the separation of religious associations from the state, the state...is not to interfere in the activities of religious associations if those activities do not contradict THIS FEDERAL LAW; Article 4, Point 3: The state is to secure the observance and protection of the rights of citizens to freedom of conscience... is to provide FINANCIAL, material AND OTHER aid to religious organisations in the restoration, maintenance and protection of buildings and objects which are monuments of history and culture...' Article 4, Point 7: 'By request of religious organisations, THE APPROPRIATE organs of state power in the Russian Federation have the right to declare religious holidays as non-working days in the appropriate territories.' Article 5, Point 2: 'The upbringing and education of children is to be IS TO BE CARRIED OUT BY PARENTS OR GUARDIANS, TAKING INTO ACCOUNT the right of the child to freedom of conscience and of creed.' Article 6, Point 2: 'Religious associations may be created in the form of religious groups or religious organisations.' Article 7   A RELIGIOUS GROUP . Point 1. A voluntary association of citizens, formed for the goals of joint confession and dissemination of their faith, functioning without state registration and without obtaining the LEGAL CAPABILITIES of a legal personality, is called a religious group . Article 7, Point 3. 'Religious groups have the right to conduct worship services, to carry out religious rituals and ceremonies, ' Article 8, Point 3. 'An organization having no fewer than ten members or followers AT LEAST 18 YEARS OLD AND permanently residing in one locality or in one populated point within the territory of one subject of the Russian Federation is recognised as a local religious organization.' Article 8, Point 4: 'A RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATION CONSISTING IN ACCORDANCE WITH ITS CHARTER OF NO FEWER THAN THREE LOCAL RELIGIOUS ORGANISATIONS IS RECOGNISED AS A REGIONAL RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATION. ' Article 8, Point 5: 'A centralized religious organization which has been functioning in the Russian Federation for no fewer than 50 years can be recognized as All-Russian by a decision of the Government of the Russian Federation if the organization has local religious organizations in no fewer than half of the subjects of the Russian Federation, or in no fewer than three subjects of the Russian Federation as ethnic-cultural formations.' Article 8, Point 6: 'A CENTRALISED RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATION ACTIVE IN THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION FOR NO FEWER THAN 50 YEARS, HAS the right to use in its names THE WORDS 'Russia', 'Russian' and derivatives of these.' Article 8, Point 7:  'An institution formed by a central religious organization in accordance with its charter or an organization which has the aim and features specified IN POINT 1 OF ARTICLE 6, including a governing or coordinating organ or institution or also an institution of professional religious education is also recognised as a religious organization.' Article 11, Point 4:  'For the state registration of a local religiousorganization, adult citizens of the Russian Federation AT LEAST 18 YEARS OLD AND numbering no less than 10 people submit the following...information on its basic creed and related practice, including the history of how the religion arose and a history of the said association... restrictions on the organization's members and clergy as regards their rights and duties as citizens...' Article 11, Point 5:  'In a case in which the supreme organ (centre) of the religious organization which is being formed is located outside the Russian Federation, in addition to THE DOCUMENTS stipulated in point 4 of the present article, in accordance with established practice, the statutes or other founding document of the foreign religious organization, confirmed by a state organ of the country in which the organization is located , must be submitted.' Article 11, Point 7: 'An application for state registration of a religious organization created by an existing religious organization or according to a confirmation issued by an existing CENTRALISED religious organization is to be reviewed within a month...' Article 11, Point 11: 'When a religious organization moves to a different location (legal address) it must inform the registering organ within a month from the day of the change.' Article 11, Point 12: 'Once every two years a religious organization is obliged to inform the registering body of the continuation of its activities, indicating where it is based (its legal address) and giving data on its leaders within the framework of information included in the single state register of legal personalities.  Failure to provide the information indicated over a period of three years, is sufficient grounds for the registering body to appeal to a court to recognise the organization as having ceased its activities as a legal personality and to delete it from the single state register of legal persons.' (NOTE THAT THE ABOVE NEW LANGUAGE IN ARTICLE 11 ADOPTED ON THE FLOOR OF THE DUMA ON 18 JUNE IS NOW BEING ADDED TO THE ARTICLE AS A NEW POINT 12, INSTEAD OF BEING SUBSTITUTED FOR THE OLD POINT 11 AS THE DEPUTIES WERE TOLD ON 18 JUNE.) Article 13, Point 2: 'A Russian religious organization can have attached to itself a representative body of a foreign religious organization.  To open such a representative body, the Russian religious organization presents a petition...including a history of the religion and of the said ORGANIZATION, the forms and methods of its activity...' Article 14, Point 3: 'The organs of the procuracy and THE ORGAN CARRYING OUT THE REGISTRATION OF RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATIONS have the right to bring a case to court  on the liquidation of a religious organization or the banning OF THE ACTIVITIES OF A RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATION OR a religious group...' Article 16, Point 2: 'Worship services, religious rites and ceremonies take place without hindrance...in cemeteries and crematoriums, and also in RESIDENTIAL BUILDINGS .' Article 19, Point 3: 'Citizens who are studying as resident students in departments of professional religious institutions which have state licences have the right to delay their military service and to make use of other privileges granted IN ACCORDANCE WITH the laws of the Russian Federation.' Article 21, Point 5: 'Creditors may not institute proceedings against REAL ESTATE OR OTHER property designated for worship purposes.' Article 24, Point 4: 'Employees of religious organizations, AND ALSO clergy, must have state social and medical insurance as well as provision for pensions.' Article 27, Point 4: 'The charters and other founding documents of religious organizations established before this Federal law comes into force must be brought into conformity with this federal law. Until the charters AND OTHER FOUNDING DOCUMENTS of religious organizations have been brought into conformity with this federal law, only those parts of the charters AND OTHER FOUNDING DOCUMENTS of religious organizations remain in force which do not contradict this federal law.' Article 27, Point 5: 'The re-registration with the State of religious ASSOCIATIONS created before this federal law came into force must take place no later that <31 December 1998> 31 DECEMBER 1999...Once this period has run out religious ASSOCIATIONS which have not re-registered are subject to liquidation... (END) Bill passed by the Duma, Wednesday, 18 June 1997 Wednesday, 18 June 1997 Here are the four amendments which were added today on the floor of the Duma.  All four were proposed by the government ('pravitelstvo') of the Russian Federation, i.e. the Executive Branch under Chernomyrdin, and all four were supported by committee chairman Zorkaltsev.  The text distributed to the deputies today (made available to the public only after the Duma voted) states that these amendments were approved by the committee; but that is a lie. 1. Point 5 of Art.8 to be reworded as follows: "A centralized religious organization which has been functioning in the Russian Federation for no fewer than 50 years can be recognized as All-Russian by a decision of the Government of the Russian Federation if the organization has local religious organizations in no fewer than half of the subjects of the Russian Federation, or in no fewer than three subjects of the Russian Federation as ethnic-cultural formations." 2. Point 11 of Art.11 to be reworded as follows: "Once every two years a religious organization is obliged to inform the registering body of the continuiation of its activities, indicating where it is based (its legal address) and giving data on its leaders within the framework of information included in the single state register of legal personalities.  Failure to provide the information indicated over a period of three years, is sufficient grounds for the registering body to appeal to a court to recognise the organization as having ceased its activities as a legal personality and to delete it from the single state register of legal persons." 3. Point 2 of Art.19 to be reworded as follows: "Institutions of professional religious education are subject to registration as religious organizations and are to receive state licences for the right to carry out educational activity." 4. Art.22 to be supplemented with point 2 as follows: "The transfer to religious organizations, for their use according to their stated functions, of buildings or other structures for worship with the land adjoining them owned by the state or by a municipality, or of other property of religious significance owned by the state or by a municipality, is to take place free of charge." (END) Monday, 16 June 1997 Here is a COMPLETE text in English of the LATEST available version of the Russian legislation against religious freedom, as freshly translated from scratch over the weekend. Introduced by the Committee of the State Duma for the Affairs of Public Associations and Religious Organizations Russian Federation, Federal Law 'On Freedom of Conscience and on Religious Associations" Protecting the inalienable right of citizens of the Russian Federation to freedom in their choice of world-views, including the right to confess any or religion or not to confess any; Respecting Orthodoxy as an inseparable part of the all-Russian historical, spiritual and cultural heritage, Islam, Buddhism, Judaism and other religions and local beliefs traditionally existing in the Russian Federation; The Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation hereby adopts this federal law. CHAPTER I. GENERAL PROVISIONS Article 1. The Subject Regulated by This Federal Law This federal law regulates the legal relationships arising in connection with the realization of the rights of man and citizen to freedom of conscience and to freedom of creed, as secured in the Constitution of the Russian Federation, and the legal status of religious associations. Article 2. Laws on freedom of conscience and religious associations 1. The laws on freedom of conscience and religious associations consist of the corresponding norms of the Constitution of the Russian Federation, the Civic Code of the Russian Federation, this federal law, other federal laws adopted in accordance with them and laws of subjects of the Russian Federation. 2. The rights of man and citizen to freedom of conscience and to freedom of creed are regulated exclusively by federal law.  Federal laws and other normative legal acts affecting questions of freedom of conscience, freedom of creed and the activities of religious associations must be consistent with this federal law.  If acts adopted by subjects of the Russian Federation on questions of the protection of the right to freedom of conscience and freedom of creed, or on questions of the activities of religious associations, contradict this federal law, this federal law is to prevail. 3. Nothing in the law on freedom of conscience and religious associations may be interpreted in such a way as to diminish or limit the right of everyone to freedom of conscience and freedom of creed, as established by the Constitution of the Russian Federation or stemming from the obligations of the Russian Federation under international treaties. Article 3: The Right to Freedom of Conscience and to Freedom of Creed 1. Freedom of conscience and freedom of creed are guaranteed in the Russian Federation, including the right to confess, individually or jointly with others, any religion or not to confess any, and the freedom to choose, change, possess or disseminate religious or other convictions and to act in accordance with them. 2. The right to freedom of conscience and to freedom of creed may be restricted by federal law only to the extent to which this is necessary for the goals of defending the foundations of the constitutional system, morality, health, or the rights and legal interests of man and citizen, or of securing the defence of the country and the security of the state. 3. The establishment of privileges or restrictions, just as any other form of discrimination on the basis of one's attitude toward religion, is not permitted. 4. Citizens are equal before the law in all spheres of civic, political, economic, social and cultural life, independent of their attitudes toward religion or religious affiliations.  A citizen of the Russian Federation, in the event that military service contradicts his convictions or creed, has the right to substitute alternative civilian service for it.  Upon the request of religious ORGANISATIONS, clergymen MAY, by a decision of the President of the Russian Federation, be granted defement from conscription into military service in peacetime. 5. Nobody may be required to discuss his attitudes toward religion, or be subjected to compulsion in the forming of his attitudes toward religion, toward the confessing or refusing to confess a religion, toward participation or lack of participation in worship services, religious rituals or ceremonies, the activities of religious associations, or religious training. The attraction of minors to religious associations and the teaching of religion to them against their will or without the agreement of their parents or guardians is forbidden. 6. Actions hindering the realisation of the right to freedom of conscience and freedom of creed, including actions entailing coercion of an individual, calculated insults of the feelings of citizens in connection with their attitudes toward religion, the destruction or damage of property, and threats of such actions, are forbidden and are to be prosecuted by law.  The conducting of public activities and distribution of texts and images insulting the religious feelings of citizens immediately adjacent to objects of religious veneration is not permitted. 7. The secrecy of confession is protected by law.  A clergyman may not be held accountable for refusing to provide evidence about circumstances which became known to him through confession. Article 4: The State and Religious Associations 1. The Russian Federation is a secular state.  No religion may be established as a state or compulsory religion.  Religious associations are separate from the state and are equal before the law. 2. In accordance with the constitutional principle of the separation of religious associations from the state, the state: is not to interfere in questions of the formation by a citizen of his attitudes toward religion or of his religious affiliation, or in the upbringing of children by their parents or guardians in accordance with their own convictions and with the right of the child to freedom of conscience and of creed; is not to call upon religious associations to carry out the functions of state organs or of organs of local government; is not to interfere in the activities of religious associations if those activities do not contradict the laws of the Russian Federation; is to secure the secular character of education and of state and municipal educational institutions. 3. The state is to secure the observance and protection of the rights of citizens to freedom of conscience and creed and the equality of religious associations before the law; is to regulate by law the granting of tax privileges and other privileges to religious organisations; and is to provide material aid to religious organisations in the restoration, maintenance and protection of buildings and objects which are monuments of history and culture, and also in providing instruction in general educational subjects in educational institutions created by religious organisations in accordance with the laws on education. 4. The activities of organs of state power and of local government may not be accompanied by public religious rituals or ceremonies. Employees of organs of state power, of local government and of other state institutions or organisations and military personnel do not have the right to use their official positions for the formation of one or another type of attitude toward religion. 5. In accordance with the constitutional principle of the separation of religious associations from the state, religious associations: are formed and operate in accordance with their own hierarchal and institutional structure; choose, appoint and replace their personnel in accordance with their own rules; are not to carry out functions of state organs or organs of local government; are not to take part in the elections of organs of state power or of local government; are not to take part in the activities of political movements or parties, or to provide them with material or other help. 6.  The separation of religious associations from the state is not to entail any limitation on the rights of their members to take part equally with others in the managing of state affairs, in the elections of organs of state power and of organs of local government, or in the activities of political parties or movements or of other social associations. 7. By request of religious organisations, organs of state power in the Russian Federation have the right to make decisions whether to declare religious holidays as supplementary non-working days in the appropriate territories. Article 5. Religious Education. 1. Everyone may receive religious education according to his choice, individually or jointly with others. 2. The upbringing and education of children is to be based on the right of parents or guardians to raise their children in accordance with their convictions and on the right of the child to freedom of conscience and of creed. 3. Religious associations have the right directly to teach religion to their followers.  Religious ORGANISATIONS have the right, in accordance with their charters and with the laws of the Russian Federation, to create educational institutions. 4. Upon the request of their parents or guardians, with the agreement of children studying in state or municipal educational institutions, the administration of these institutions by agreement with the corresponding local (municipal) organ of educational administration has the right to grant students opportunities for the realisation of their right to receive religious education outside the framework of the educational programme. CHAPTER TWO: RELIGIOUS ASSOCIATIONS Article 6. Religious Associations 1.  As a religious association in the Russian Federation is recognised a voluntary association of citizens of the Russian Federation, formed with the goal of joint confession and dissemination of their faith and possessing features corresponding to that goal: a creed; the performance of worship services, religious rituals and ceremonies; the religious training and upbringing of its followers. 2. Religious associations may be created in the form of religious groups (prayer assemblies) or religious organisations. 3. The creation of religious associations in state organs or in organs of local government, in their institutions, in military installations, or in other state and municipal organisations is not permitted. 4. The creation and activities of religious associations the goals and actions of which violate the law is forbidden. Art.7   A RELIGIOUS GROUP (PRAYER MEETING)          (a new article) 1. A voluntary association of adult citizens, formed for the goals of joint confession and dissemination of their faith, functioning without state registration and without obtaining the rights of a legal personality, is called a religious group (prayer assembly).   2. Citizens forming a religious group are to inform the local authorities about its creation and the beginning of its activities.     3. Religious groups have the right to conduct worship services, to carry out religious rituals and ceremonies, and to conduct charitable and other activities which do not require the legal capacities of a legal personality. Art. 8  A RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATION       (a new article) 1.   A free association of adult citizens, formed with the goals of joint confession and dissemination of their faith, and, in accordance with established practice obtaining the rights of a legal personality, is recognised as a religious organization. 2.  Religious organisations, depending on the territory where they are active, are divided into local and centralized ones.  Centralized religious organizations are divided into regional and all-Russian ones. 3. An organisation having no fewer than ten members or followers permanently residing in one locality or in one populated point within the territory of one subject of the Russian Federation is recognised as a local religious organisation. 4.   An organisation which includes in its structure in accordance with its charter no fewer than three local religious organizations is recognised as a centralized religious organization. 5. An organisation having no fewer than 100,000 followers who are citizens of the Russian Federation and including within its structure local religious organisations registered in no fewer than half the subjects of the Russian Federation is recognised as an all-Russian religious organisation.  An organisation having no fewer than 100,000 followers who are citizens of the Russian Federation, compactly residing in one or several subjects of the Russian Federation as ethnic-cultural formations is also recognised as an all-Russian religious organisation.  A religious organization which has no fewer than 100,000 followers who are citizens of the Russian Federation compactly residing at least three subjects of the Russian Federation as ethnic-cultural formations, may also be recognized as an All-Russian religious organization. 6.  All-Russian religious organizations have the right to use in their names 'Russia', 'Russian' and derivatives of these. 7.  An institution formed by a central religious organization in accordance with its charter or an organization which has the aim and features specified in point 1 of the current article, including a governing or coordinating organ or institution or also an institution of professional religious education is also recognised as a religious organisation. 8.  The organs of State, in considering matters touching upon the activity of religious organizations within society, are to take into account the territorial sphere of the activities of a religious organisation, and are to grant that organizations the chance of participating in considering these questions. 9.  A religious organization has a full name which contains information on its confessional adherence, and such an organization must indicate its full name when it carries out its activities. Art 9. THE CREATION OF A RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATION        (Art.7 at the first reading) 1.  Local religious organizations are formed on the initiative of adult citizens of the Russian Federation, who join together as a religious group, which must have confirmation from the organs of the local government that it has existed for no less than 15 years on the said territory, or confirmation from a centralized religious organization of the same creed that it forms part of its structure. 2.  Centralized religious organizations are formed, when there exist no fewer than three local religious organizations of the same creed, in accordance with the internal procedures of the religious organizations if these do not contradict the law. Art.10 THE CHARTER OF A RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATION        (Art.8 at the first reading) 1.  A religious organization functions on the basis of its charter, which is confirmed by its founders or by a centralised religious organization, and which  must conform with the demands of civic law. 2.  The charter of a religious organization is to include:   its name, address, type of religious organization, creed, and, when it belongs to an already existing centralised religious organization, its name;   aims, goals and basic forms of activity;   procedure for its creation and termination of activity;   structure of the organization, its administrative organs, the procedure for their formation and areas of competence;   sources of finance and other property of the organization;   the procedure for introducing changes and additions to its charter;   the procedure for disposing of property should it cease its activity;   other information relevant to the peculiarities of the activities of the said religious organization. Art.11  STATE REGISTRATION OF RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATIONS         (Art.9 at the first reading) 1.  State registration of religious organizations is performed by the federal organs of justice and by the organs of justice of the subjects of the Russian Federation in accordance with the civic law and this federal law. 2.  State registration of a local or centralized religious organization functioning within the area of one subject of the Russian Federation, is performed by the organ of justice of the said subject of the Russian Federation. 3.  The federal organ of justice registers centralized religious organizations which have local religious organizations on the territory of two or more subjects of the Russian Federation. 4.  For the state registration of a local religious organization, adult citizens of the Russian Federation numbering no less than 10 people submit the following to the relevant organ of justice:   an application for registration;   a list of those who form the religious organization with an indication of their citizenship, their home address, date of birth;   the charter of the religious organization duly ratified;   minutes of the meeting which founded it;   confirmation by an organ of the local government that the said religious group has existed for no less than 15 years on the relevant territory, or confirmation of its membership in a centralized religious organization issued by that centralized organization's governing body;   information on its basic creed and related practice, including the history of how the religion arose and a history of the said association, the forms and methods of its activity, its attitudes toward the family and marriage, toward education, peculiarities of its attitude toward the health of its followers, restrictions imposed by its creed on the organization's members and clergy as regards their rights and duties as citizens;   a document confirming the whereabouts of the governing body (legal address) of the newly-formed religious organization. 5.  In a case in which the supreme organ (centre) of the religious organization which is being formed is located outside the Russian Federation, in addition to what is stipulated in point 4 of the present article, in accordance with established practice, the statutes or other founding document of the foreign religious organization, confirmed by a state organ of the country in which the organization is located in accordance with that country's laws, must be submitted. 6.  For the state registration of religious organizations formed in accordance with this Federal law by  centralized religious organizations, the following must be submitted:   the charter of the newly-formed religious organization, confirmed by its founder (founders);   a document confirming the location of the governing body (legal address) of the newly-formed religious organization;   an attested copy of the charter and proof of the state registration of the founder (founders). For the state registration of a centralized religious organization, information must also be submitted about the organizations which are included in its structure. 7.  An application for state registration of a religious organization created by an existing religious organization or according to a confirmation issued by an existing religious organization is to be reviewed within a month from the day when all the documents listed in this article have been submitted.  In other cases, the registering organ has the right to extend the period for examination of the documents for a further six months for the carrying out of state religious-studies analysis by official religious specialists.  The procedure for the execution of this study is to be established by the Government of the Russian Federation. 8.  In cases where an applicant (applicants) does not observe the requirements in points 4,5 and 6 of the current article, the registering organ has the right to disregard the application, informing the applicant (applicants) of this decision. 9.  In cases where the decision is positive, a certificate is given to the applicant of the state registration of the religious organization in the established form, and information about the registration is recorded in the single state register of legal persons, available for public scrutiny. 10.  Changes and additions to the charters of religious organizations must be registered in the same way as the registration of religious organizations, and come into force for third parties from the moment they are registered with the state. 11.  When a religious organization moves to a different location (legal address) it must inform the registering organ within a month from the day of the change. Art.12  REFUSAL BY THE STATE TO REGISTER A RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATION         (Art.10 at the first reading) 1.  The state can refuse to register a religious organization in the following cases:        if the aims and activity of a religious organization are linked with the infringement of the Constitution of the Russian Federation and of current laws, with references to specific articles and laws;        the non-recognition of an organization as religious;        when the charter and other representative documents do not conform with the demands of laws or when the information contained therein is inauthentic;        the presence of a previously registered organization of the same name in the single state register of legal personalities;        when a founding member (members) is not legally competent. 2.  The refusal of state registration to a religious organization is communicated in writing to the applicant giving the grounds for refusal. Refusal on grounds of the inexpediency of creating an organization is impermissible. 3.  The refusal of a registering body to grant state registration to a religious organization as well as the evasion of such registration, can be brought before a court. Art.13  REPRESENTATIVE BODIES OF FOREIGN RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATIONS         (Art.ll at the first reading) 1.  A religious organization is named foreign if it is created outside the confines of the Russian Federation and according to the law of a foreign state. 2.  A Russian religious organization can have foreign religious representation.  To open such representation a Russian religious organization presents a petition to the registering body indicating the purposes for the activity of foreign representatives of a religious organization, its statutes or other founding document, documents which confirm the legality of the foreign religious organization in the country where resides its governing body, information on its basic beliefs and related religious practices, including a history of the religion and said association, the forms and methods of its activity, its attitude to the family and marriage, to education, the particular views on health of a given religion's adherents, the limits imposed by the religious teaching of an organization on its members and clergy as regards their civil rights and duties. 3.  The precedure for the registration, opening and shutting of the foreign representation of a religious organization is established by the Government of the  Russian Federation in accordance with the law of the Russian Federation. 4.  In the case of a positive decision, a certificate according to the format established by the Government of the Russian Federation, is issued to the representative of the foreign religious organization. Art.14  THE LIQUIDATION OF A RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATION AND THE BANNING OF A RELIGIOUS ASSOCIATION'S ACTIVITIES IN THE EVENT OF THEIR BREAKING THE LAW.          (Art.12 in the first reading) 1.  Religious organizations can be liquidated:       by a decision of its founders, or by the organ empowered to do this by the religious organization's charter;       by a court decision in the case of frequent and gross infringement of the norms of the Constitution of the Russian Federation, or infringement of this federal law and other federal laws, or in the case of systematic activities by a religious organisation which contradict the goals for which it was created (the goals in its charter). 2. Grounds for liquidating a religious organisation or for banning a religious organisation or religious group by judicial order are:   if they undermine social order and security or threaten the security of the State;   actions aimed at forcibly changing the foundations of the Constitutional structure and destroying the unity of the Russian Federation;   the creation of armed units;   propaganda of war, the igniting of social, racial, national or religious dissension or hatred between people;   forcing a family to disintegrate;   the infringement of the person, the rights and freedom of a citizen;        the infliction of damage established in accordance with the law on the morality or health of citizens, including the use in connection with their religious activities of narcotic or psychoactive substances, hypnosis, the performing of depraved or other disorderly actions;    encouraging suicide or the refusal on religious grounds of medical help to persons in life-endangering or health-endangering conditions;     hindering the receiving of compulsory education;     forcing members and followers of the religious association or other persons to alienate property which belongs to them for the use of the religious association;     inciting citizens to refuse to fulfil their civic obligations established by law, or to perform other disorderly actions. 3.  The organs of the procuracy and the corresponding organs of justice have the right to bring a case to court  on the liquidation of a religious organization or the banning of a religious group.  The activities of a religious organization can be suspended in accordance with the law. 4.  The legal capacity of a religious organization as a legal personality ceases and the property of the liquidated religious organization is distributed  in accordance with its charter and with the civic law of the Russian Federation. CHAPTER III.  THE RIGHTS AND CONDITIONS FOR THE ACTIVITY OF RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATIONS.        (Art.13 in the first reading) Art.15  THE INTERNAL REGULATIONS OF RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATIONS 1. Religious organizations act in accordance with the law in force, and possess the rights stipulated in their charters. 2.  The State respects the internal regulations of religious organizations is these do not contradict the law in force. Art.16  RELIGIOUS RITES AND CEREMONIES      (Art.14 in the first reading) 1.  Religious organizations have the right to found and maintain religious buildings and equipment and other places and objects specially designated for religious worship, for prayer and religious gatherings, for expressing religious veneration (pilgrimages). 2.  Worship services, religious rites and ceremonies take place without hindrance in religious buildings and structures and on their adjoining territory, in other places made available to religious organizations for these purposes, in places of pilgrimage, in institutions and at the enterprises of religious organizations, in cemeteries and crematoriums, and also in the flats and houses of citizens according to their wishes. 3.  Religious organizations have the right to carry out religious rites in health centres and hospitals, in children's homes, in old-people's homes and institutions for incurables, and in institutions applying sentences of imprisonment for criminal offences at the request of the citizens held there in premises specially designated by the administration for these purposes. Religious rites are permitted in premises at places of detention under guard with the proviso that the criminal-procedural laws are observed. 4.  Those in command of military units, while observing the requirements of military regulations, are not to hinder military personnel from participating in religious services and fulfilling religious rites. 5.  In other instances, public religious services, religious rites and ceremonies are to be carried out in accordance with the regulations established for mass rallies, street processions and demonstrations. Art.l7  RELIGIOUS LITERATURE AND ARTICLES OF RELIGIOUS SIGNIFICANCE          (Art.15 in the first reading) 1. Religious organizations have the right to produce, acquire, export, import and distribute religious literature, printed, audio and video material and other articles of religious significance. 2.  Religious organizations have the exclusive right to institute enterprises for producing liturgical literature and articles for religious services. 3.  Literature, printed, audio and video material issued by religious organizations, must be marked with the full official name of the said religious organization. Art.18  CHARITABLE AND CULTURAL-EDUCATIONAL ACTIVITIES OF RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATIONS        (Art.16 in the first reading) 1.  Religious organizations have the right to carry out charitable activities, either directly or by instituting charitable organizations. 2.  In order to enact their charters' aims and goals religious organizations have the right in accordance with the law of the Russian Federation to create cultural-educational organizations, educational and other institutions, and organs of mass media. 3.  The state is to cooperate with and support the charitable activities of religious organizations, as well as the implementation of their socially significant cultural and educational progammes and undertakings. Art.19  INSTITUTIONS OF PROFESSIONAL RELIGIOUS EDUCATION        (Art.17 in the first reading) 1. Religious organizations in accordance with their charters have the exclusive right to create institutions for professional religius education (spiritual educational institutions) for preparing clergy and religious personnel. 2. Institutions of a professional religious education are subject to registration in accordance with the law. 3. Citizens who are studying as resident students in departments of professional religious institutions which have state licences have the right to delay their military service and to make use of other privileges granted by the laws of the Russian Federation. Art.20 INTERNATIONAL LINKS AND CONTACTS     (Art.18 in the first reading) 1. Religious organizations have the right to establish and maintain international links and contacts, including those necessary for pilgrimages, participation in meetings and other undertakings, for religious education, and also they have the right to invite foreign citizens for these purposes. 2. Religious organizations have the exclusive right to invite foreign citizens for professional purposes, including preaching and religious activity in the said organizations in accordance with Federal laws. Art.21 THE RIGHT TO PROPERTY OF RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATIONS       (Art.19 at the the first reading) 1. Religious organizations can own buildings, plots of land, objects for the purpose of production and for social, charitable, educational and other purposes, articles of religious significance, financial means and other property which is essential for their activity including that necessary for historical and cultural monuments. 2.  Religious organizations have the right to own property which has been acquired or created by their own means, by the donations of citizens or of organizations or transferred to them by the State, or acquired by other means in conformity with the law. 3.  The transfer to the ownership of religious organizations of religious buildings and constructions,  with the adjoining land, and other property of religious significance for their use for functional purposes from state and municipal ownership, is to take place free charge. 4.  Religious organizations have the right to own property abroad. 5.   Creditors may not institute proceedings against property designated for worship purposes. Art.22 THE USE OF PROPERTY BELONGING TO THE STATE, TO CITIZENS OR THEIR ASSOCIATIONS      (Art.20 in the first reading) Religious organizations have the right to use for their own needs plots of land, buildings and property provided by state, municipal, social and other organizations and citizens in accordance with the laws of the Russian Federation. Art.23 BUSINESS UNDERTAKINGS OF RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATIONS        (Art.21 in the first reading) Registered religious organizations have the right to carry out business undertakings and to create their own enterprises in accordance with the law established by the civic laws of the Russian Federation. Art.24 LABOUR LAWS IN RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATIONS (art. 22 in first reading) 1. Religious organizations in accordance with their charters have the right to hire employees. 2. Payment and conditions of work are established according to the laws with a working agreement (contract) between the religious organization (employer) and the employee concluded with the agreement of both sides. 3. Citizens who carry out work in religious organizations according to a working agreement (contract) are subject to labour laws. 4. Employees of religious organizations, including clergy, must have state social and medical insurance as well as provision for pensions. CHAPTER IV. THE SUPERVISION AND MONITORING OF THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE LAW ON FREEDOM OF CONSCIENCE AND ON RELIGIOUS ASSOCIATIONS Art.25. IMPLEMENTATION OF SUPERVISION AND MONITORING       (Art.24 in the first reading) 1. Monitoring the implementation of the law on freedom of conscience and on religious associations is carried out by the organs of the Procuracy. 2. The organs which register a religious organization monitor their observance of their own charters as regards the aims of their activity. Art.26 LIABILITY FOR INFRINGING THE LAW ON FREEDOM OF CONSCIENCE AND ON RELIGIOUS ASSOCIATIONS         (Art.25 in the first reading) Infringement of the law on freedom of conscience and on religious associations involves criminal, administrative and other liability in accordance with the laws of the Russian Federation. Art.27 ON THE TIMING AND ORDER FOR THE COMING INTO EFFECT OF THIS FEDERAL LAW.         (Art.26 in the first reading) 1. To put this Federal law into effect from the day of its official publication. 2. The Government of the Russian Federation is to adopt the necessary normative legal acts for the implementation of this Federal law. 3. Establish that this Federal law affects functioning and newly-formed religious associations. 4. The charters and other founding documents of religious organizations established before this Federal law comes into force must be brought into conformity with this federal law. Until the charters of religious organizations have been brought into conformity with this federal law, only those parts of the charters of religious organizations remain in force which do not contradict this federal law. 5. The re-registration with the State of religious organizations created before this federal law came into force must take place no later that 31 December 1998 in accordance with the demands of this federal law. Once this period has run out religious organizations which have not re-registered are subject to liquidation according to the law upon the demand of the body which registers religious organizations. 6. Recognize as no longer in force the Law of the RSFSR "On Freedom of Religious Confession" (GAZETTE OF THE RSFSR CONGRESS OF PEOPLES DEPUTIES AND OF THE RSFSR SUPREME SOVIET, 1990, No.21, Art.240; COLLECTION OF THE LAWS OF THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION, 1995, No.5, Art.346) from the day this federal law comes into force. (END)