KESTON NEWS SERVICE: 20.00, 9 July 2001.=20
Reporting on violations of religious liberty and on religion in communist=20
and post-communist lands.
______________________________________

RUSSIA: SALVATION ARMY LIQUIDATION HEARING=20
ADJOURNED. The court hearing for the liquidation of the Moscow city=20
branch of the Salvation Army has been adjourned until 11 September,=20
Colonel Kenneth Baillie of the church told Keston News Service this=20
afternoon. In a brief session at the Tagansky District Court today, he
said, a=20
judge new to the case accepted the branch's request to adjourn the hearing=
=20
because its lawyers are currently outside the country. The court proceedings=
=20
are taking their toll upon the church, Baillie said: 'This waste of time,
energy=20
and money is such a diversion from our real ministry of compassion and=20
Christian concern.'

RUSSIA: SALVATION ARMY LIQUIDATION HEARING ADJOURNED
=20
by Geraldine Fagan, Keston News Service
=20
The court hearing for the liquidation of the Moscow city branch of the=20
Salvation Army has been adjourned until 11 September, Colonel Kenneth=20
Baillie of the church told Keston News Service this afternoon. In a brief=20
session at Moscow city's Tagansky District Court at 2 pm today, he said, a=
=20
female judge who is new to the case accepted the branch's request to adjourn=
=20
the hearing because its lawyers are currently outside the country. The=20
Salvation Army now has until the September hearing to submit=20
documentation in its defence, at which point Baillie believes that there=
will=20
be a full consideration of the case.
=20
The Salvation Army was registered as a centralised religious organisation on=
=20
the federal level in late February, and Colonel Baillie told Keston that at=
=20
present the Moscow branch is in essence functioning as the federal=20
organisation: 'We have legally transferred what we can of our assets to the=
=20
federal charter.' However, he stressed that this did not mean that the=20
liquidation case was 'some inconsequential striking off the record of an=20
expired registration - it exposes us to the severe risk of being caught in
a tug-
of-war between the local and federal authorities.' Although the church's=20
lawyers - from the Slavic Centre of Law and Justice - believe that the=20
Moscow branch would be able to function using federal status in the=20
eventuality of liquidation, explained Baillie, 'they admit that according
to the=20
law it is unclear where local and federal powers lie.' Moscow landlords=20
might thus insist upon local registration documentation before leasing a=
hall=20
for worship, for example, said Baillie, and so 'everything we are doing=20
would be at risk. How can we have a bank account, or pay taxes on our=20
employees' wages, or even have employees, if we don't exist?'
=20
Baillie also confirmed to Keston that the court proceedings in themselves=20
were taking their toll upon the church: 'This waste of time, energy and=20
money is such a diversion from our real ministry of compassion and=20
Christian concern.' (END)

Copyright (c) 2001 Keston Institute. All rights reserved.