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October 13, 2009 — DRAFT

Amendments to the Federal Law On Freedom of Conscience and On Religious Associations and to the Code of Administrative Offences of the Russian Federation

RUSSIAN FEDERATION FEDERAL LAW

Amendments to the Federal Law “On Freedom of Conscience and On Religious Associations” and to the Code of Administrative Offences of the Russian Federation

Article 1.
To amend Federal law no. 125-FZ “On Freedom of Conscience and On Religious Associations” enacted on September 26, 1997, (Corpus of legislative acts of the Russian Federation, 1997, no. 39, Item 4465; 2002, no. 30, Item 3029; 2008, no 30, Item 3616), as follow:

1) In Article 3(5), to replace the word “juvenile” with “minors.”

2) To amend Article 7 (2) as follows:

“2. The citizens who have formed a religious group should give written notice of its formation and of the beginning of its activities, to the territorial body of the federal body of the state registration in the locality where the said group is created.

The notice of formation and start of activities must contain the following information: where and when the group was formed; its creed or denomination; the person authorized to represent the religious group; the citizens who have formed the religious group; and, if the group is a member of a centralized religious organization, the name of the latter.

Within three days upon the date of receipt of the notice, the specified body issues the religious group with a document, confirming the notice of formation of the religious group and the of the start of its activities”

3) In Article 9:

class="copy"a) subsection 1 to be amended as follows:

“1. A local religious organization can be founded by no less than ten citizens of the Russian Federation united in the religious group, which either had existed in the locality in question for no less than fifteen years from the date of the notice of formation and of the start of activities of the religious group, or has proof of membership in a centralized religious organization of the same creed or denomination, which is issued by the latter.”

b) a new subsection 3 to be added to read as follows: “Persons convicted of the incitement to ethnic or religious hatred or other crimes of an extremist nature may not be founders, members or participants in a religious organization .”

4) In Article 11 (5), Paragraph 6, replace “ a local government body” with “territorial body of the federal registration authority.”

5) A new Article 18 to be added to read as follows:

Article 18 Missionary Activity

1. For the purposes of this Federal Law, missionary activity shall include all activities of a religious association aimed at the propagation of its beliefs among those who are not members, participants, or followers of the said religious association, with a view to involve them in the religious association, which is carried out by religious associations or authorized representatives thereof directly, publicly, with the use of mass media or other lawful means.

The activities of a religious association which are carried out in the buildings and on the premises used for religious purposes and in the adjacent territories and other places provided on a permanent basis to the said religious association for the purposes of worship and other religious rites and ceremonies; also in the places of pilgrimage, in establishments and enterprises of religious organizations, cemeteries and crematoriums shall not be regarded as missionary activity.

2. The right of the religious organization to engage in missionary activity shall arise from the date of its state registration.

The right of a religious group to engage in missionary activity shall arise from the date of the notice of formation and start of activities of the religious group filed with the corresponding territorial body of the federal registering authority.

3. The head of the religious organization and (or) a member of its governing body shall have the right to carry out missionary activities on behalf of the said religious organization. Other citizens and legal entities shall have the right to carry out missionary activities on behalf of the religious organization under the power of attorney issued by the said religious organization or under another written document confirming the right to engage in missionary activities on behalf of the religious organization.

Foreign citizens who entered the Russian Federation pursuant to Article 20 (2) of this Federal Law may engage in missionary activities on behalf of the inviting religious organization and in accordance with the laws of the Russian Federation. The religious group must provide anyone who engages in the missionary activities on its behalf with a decision of its general assembly which authorizes them to do so; the decision must contain the name, creed or denomination and address at which the religious group carries out its activities.

4. Religious association shall be liable for any breaches of the laws of the Russian Federation on freedom of conscience and on religious associations committed by the authorized persons in the course of their missionary activities.

5. Missionary activity is forbidden if carried out:

1) by the persons who are not in possession of the document as provided by subsection 3 of this Article;

2) by foreign citizens who are temporarily staying in the Russian Federation and by stateless persons, except as provided by the second paragraph of subsection 3 of this Article;

3) by the persons convicted of the incitement to ethnic or religious hatred or other crimes of an extremist nature ;

4) within the objects used for religious purposes which belong to another religious association, unless conducted upon the written approval of the governing body of the latter;

5) in conjunction with offers of financial, social, and other benefits in order to persuade citizens to join the religious association; or if accompanied by threats of violence, psychological pressure and mental manipulation, i.e that is against the will of the persons who are subjected to it; 6) in general healthcare institutions and hospitals, orphanages, care homes for the elderly and disabled people, unless the administration and the residents (or their legal representatives or legal guardians) of the specified establishments gave their consent thereto;

7) in administrative offices of government or local government bodies and at the adjacent land plots used to service these premises.”

Article 2.

 To amend the Code of Administrative Offences of the Russian Federation (Corpus of legislative acts of the Russian Federation, 2002, no. 1, Item 1; no. 44, Item 4295; 2003, no. 27, Item 2700, 2708, 2717; no. 46, Item 4434; no. 50, Item 4847, 4855; 2004, no. 31, Item 3229; no. 34, Item 3529, Item 3533; 2005, no. 1, Item 9, 45; no. 10, 763; no. 13, Item 1077; no. 19, Item 1752; no. 27, Item 2721; no. 30, Item 3104, 3131; no. 50, Item 5247; 2006, no. 10, Item 1067; no. 12, Item 1234; no. 17, Item 1776; no. 18, Item 1907; no. 19, Item 2066; no. 23, Item 2380; no. 31, Item 3420, 3438, 3452; no. 45, Item 4641; no. 52, Item 5498; 2007; no. 1, Item 21, 29; no. 16, Item 1825; no. 30, Item 3755; no. 31, Item 4007, 4008; no. 41, Item 4845; 2008, no. 18, Item 1941; no. 20, Item 2251, no. 30, Item 3582, 3604; no. 49, Item 5745; no. 52, Item 6235, Item 6236; 2009, no. 7, Item 777) as follows:

1) To introduce new Articles 5.26.1 and 5.26.2 reading as follows: Article 5.26.1 “Inducing minors to participate in the activities of religious association against their will and (or) without the consent of their parents or other legal representatives” - Inducing a minor to participate in the activities of a religious association against his will and (or) without the consent of his parents or other legal representatives by inviting the minor to participate in meetings of religious association or not preventing his participation in the said meetings; by engaging in conversations with the minor; providing him with printed, audio or video materials; as well as providing material benefits for the participation in the activities of a religious association - is punishable by an administrative fine of 2,000 to 5,000 rubles (for individuals) or 5,000 to 10,000 rubles (for legal entities).

Article 5.26.2 “Breach of the legal requirements to the missionary activity”

1. Missionary activity conducted by persons who are not in possession of the document which confirms their right to carry out such activity on behalf of a religious association – is punishable by an administrative fine of 2,000 to 5,000 rubles (for individuals); or 5,000 to 7,000 rubles (for legal entities).

2. Issuance of the document confirming the right to engage in missionary activity to foreign citizens temporarily staying in the Russian Federation and stateless persons who entered the Russian Federation for purposes other than religious activity, - is punishable by an administrative fine of 7,000 to 10,000 rubles, which is imposed on the legal entities which provided the said document to the specified persons.

3. Involvement in the missionary activity of the persons convicted of the incitement to ethnic or religious hatred or other crimes of an extremist nature is punishable by an administrative fine of 5,000 to 7,000 rubles (imposed on individuals).

4. Missionary activity within the premises used for religious purposes and belonging to another religious association without a written approval of the governing body of the latter is punishable by an administrative fine of 1,000 to 3,000 rubles (for individuals); or 3,000 to 8,000 rubles (for legal entities).

5. Missionary activity carried out in conjunctions with offers of financial, social, and other benefits in order to persuade citizens to join the religious association; or if accompanied by threats of violence, psychological pressure and mental manipulation, i.e. that is against the will of the persons who are subjected to it – is punishable by an administrative fine of 2,000 to 5,000 rubles (for individuals); or 8,000 to 12,000 rubles (for legal entities).

6. Missionary activity carried out in administrative offices of government or local government bodies and at the adjacent land plots used to service these premises is punishable by an administrative fine of 1,000 to 3,000 rubles (for private individuals); 5,000 to 8,000 rubles (for officials); and 10,000 to 15,000 rubles (for legal entities).

7. Missionary activity carried out in general healthcare institutions and hospitals, orphanages, care homes for the elderly and disabled people, unless the administration and the residents (or their legal representatives or legal guardians) of the specified establishments gave their consent thereto is punishable by an administrative fine of 1,000 to 3,000 rubles (for private individuals); 5,000 to 8,000 rubles (for officials); and 10,000 to 15,000 rubles (for legal entities).

2) In Part 1 of Article 23.1, “5.26” to be replaced with “5.26.2”;

3) In Part 2 of Article 28.3: Para. 1 after “5.22” to include the following numbers: “5.26.1, 5.26.2”; In Para. 4, “Article 5.26” to be replaced with “Articles 5.26 – 5.26.2”;

4) Part 1 of Article 28.7 to be amended by adding “legislation on freedom of conscience and on religious associations” after “on elections and referenda.”

Article 3.

1. This Federal Law shall enter into force sixty (60) days from the date of its official publication.

2. Religious groups, which notified the bodies of the local government of their formation and beginning of activities prior to the entry into force of this Federal Law, must, within a year from the date of its coming into force, submit a document which confirms the fact of notification as provided above, to the territorial body of the federal registering authority in the locality where the religious group was formed. The document must contain, as enclosures, the following information: when and where the group was formed; its creed or denomination; person authorized to represent the religious group; the citizens who have formed the religious group; and, if the group is a member of a centralized religious organization, the name of the latter.

In three days upon the date of receipt of the above documents, the territorial body of the federal registering authority shall issue the religious group with a document, confirming the notice of formation of the religious group and the of the start of its activities. The document shall contain the date of the notice previously given to the competent body of the local government.

President of the Russian Federation Kremlin, Moscow

 
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