Press Releases

Press Release of Press Conference Regarding “No to Inquisitors!”

10 June 2009

The examination of the preliminary results of the All-Russia Perpetual Act “No to Inquisitors!” became one of the purposes for the urgent holding of the press conference.  The action was directed against the designation of religious politicians in the government in accordance with the interests of Russian activists – the anti-cultists – with sect-members.  The “sectologist” anti-cultists were included in the “Council of Government Theological Expertise under the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation” as experts.  The action has received a large response.  The appeal of the Institute of Religion and Justice to A. V. Konovalov, Minister of Justice of the Russian Federation, was signed by over five thousand people – scholars, religious persons, agnostics and other supporters of secular government.
Religious leaders, human rights activists, and scholars have all formulated what various problems exist and their own understandings of those problems.  Included in these groups are the authors of a letter of ten academics, the authors of a letter of 227 and 1700 scholars against clericalization of society, as well as teachers, staff members of museums and other institutions of culture, and ambitious groups in defense of the Ryazansky Conservation Museum and of memorials of architecture in Pskov, who have come out against the disbanding of museums and the changing over of a national achievement of cultural values to the church in the form of “The Restoration of Historical Justice.”
After the religious boom of the 1990’s, the time came to openly declare that church officials do not have the right to designate as “enemies of the church” anyone who in any way speaks against their attempts to again make governmental the religious organization of the Russian Orthodox Church Moscow Patriarchy, as was done in tsarist and Soviet times.  The supporters of the Constitution of the Russian Federation, secular government, religious tolerance, secular knowledge, and preservation of cultural values are not only religious persons of various confessions and agnostics, but also a large number of Russian Orthodox members who are striving to maintain the Church as a model of Christian life and not an appendage of authority.
The community recognizes its responsibility for the fate of the government, society and the traditions of religious culture, including Russian Orthodoxy, which for one person may be a cultural inheritance, but for another, it may be participation in church ordinances.  This responsibility does not allow for silence, and the voice of the community must be heard and taken into account by governmental and church leadership.  The civil position of society is especially important in order to show that those who are for a legalistic democratic government are not “isolated enemies,” but rather patriots of Russia, who strive to prevent the country’s return to an authoritarian and severely ideology-driven type of government.
We propose a Manifesto be discussed in defense of secular government and announce the start of the formation of a vast societal movement in defense of secular government, the participants of which will henceforth speak as a consolidated group, and not as individuals.


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