KESTON NEWS SERVICE
Issue 3, Article 22, 17 March 2000

Immediate reporting on violations of religious liberty and on religion in
communist and post-communist lands.
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Friday 17 March 2000
RUSSIAN PRESIDENT TO SIGN REREGISTRATION EXTENSION BILL
NEXT WEEK?

by Tatyana Titova, Keston News Service

On 13 March the bill extending the deadline for the reregistration of religious
organisations to 31 December 2000 was forwarded by the upper chamber of the
Russian parliament, the Federation Council, to the acting president for
signature into law. The bill had been adopted in all three readings by the lower
chamber, the State Duma, on 18 February (see KNS 24 February 2000). There
are rumours that acting president VLADIMIR PUTIN will sign the bill early
next week. The deadline for reregistering religious organisations - as required
under the revised version of the religion law passed in 1997 - expired on 31
December 1999, with almost half the religious organisations failing to gain
reregistration in time.

VLADIMIR KULTITSKY, head of the staff of the Duma's Committee for the
affairs of social associations and religious organisations, confirmed to Keston
News Service on 17 March that the Federation Council had forwarded the bill
to the acting president, adding that he has until 27 March to sign the bill. ALI
VYACHESLAV POLOSIN, an adviser to VIKTOR ZORKALTSEV, the
chairman of the Duma Committee for the affairs of social associations and
religious organisations, told Keston on 17 March that the Federation Council
has not met since the reregistration extension bill was sent from the State Duma
(the Federation Council meets only once a month), so that the Council's
approval was automatic. (END)

Copyright (c) 2000 Keston Institute. All rights reserved.