KESTON NEWS SERVICE
Issue 3, Article 30, 30 March 2000

Immediate reporting on violations of religious liberty and on religion in
communist and post-communist lands.
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Thursday 30 March 2000
ORGANISATIONS �MUST BE LIQUIDATED� IF THEY FAIL TO MEET
NEW REREGISTRATION DEADLINE

by Tatyana Titova, Keston News Service

'On 26 March Acting President VLADIMIR PUTIN signed the law extending
the deadline for the re-registration of religious organisations according to the
law of 1997,' Keston was told on 29 March by VLADIMIR KULTITSKY of
the Duma Committee on Links with Social and Religious Organisations. 'The
law comes into effect as soon as it is published in 'Rossiiskaya gazeta'.' Keston
has confirmed that the law was published in this newspaper today, 30 March.

The 1997 Law on Freedom of Conscience and on Religious Associations states
that all registered religious organisations are obliged to achieve re-registration
by 31 December 1999. For various reasons, however, most religious
organisations failed to complete the re-registration process by the deadline and,
with the support of the Presidential Administration, Minister of Justice PAVEL
KRASHENINNIKOV proposed extending the deadline to 31 December 2000.

There is another change, however. The 1997 law states that any organisations
failing to achieve re-registration 'may be liquidated'. The new law extending
the deadline says that they 'must be liquidated'.

On 29 March ALEKSANDR KUDRYAVTSEV, head of the department for
registration of religious organisations at the Ministry of Justice of the Russian
Federation, told Keston that from the following day religious organisations
would be able to submit documentation for re-registration. But, he warned,
'there is plenty of registering work to be done: in the last few days of December
alone we received 70 applications.' (END)

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