How OSA wanted to change the religious scene in Russia

Discussion in 'Martin Ottmann' started by Martin Ottmann, Jul 8, 2013.

  1. Scientology in Russia during the 1990s. This is a report (text file) by CO OSA Russia to his bosses in Copenhagen and Los Angeles about the religious scene in Russia and what OSA wants to do about it to improve the legal situation for the organization. The date of the report is 20 July, 1994.

    2007100 otl russia
    a/invest aide osa eu
    info: d/co dsas osa eu, pred and invest chf osai, cont/sect inv handling off osai, pr pgms
    exec chf osai, csi research and analyis off osai,
    re: russia religion law

    dear mark,
    here are key data about the religion scene as related to the religion law preps in the state
    duma. since the last couple of months there are several law projects submitted inside the
    duma for consideration or as attempts to spark off a united law change. also major
    religious orgs have submitted their input to the duma as follows:

    a) russian orthodox church 12.5.94 - "1.2 all kinds of activities or religious orgs since
    being non-profitable and getting money resources only in order to transfer them to
    people again, should be released frm all kinds of taxes, incl. the vat … also exemption
    from customs duties on the goods imported by religious orgs from abroad.

    "1.3 one of the problems, which agitates both the orthodox church community and many
    people of a different faith and non-belivers as well, is still the necessity to protect the
    society against the encroachment on life, health, rights, freedoms and dignity of a human
    being on the part of the extremist religious and pseudo-religious groups. this problem
    have already been covered in amendments to the criminal code of russian federation, not
    long ago introduced by the russian parliament, and now it is necessary for the rigthprotecting
    bodies and legal power to strictly promote the realization of the passed law".

    "1.4 there is one more urgent problem still existing - the lack of some right norms in
    russia, regulating the professional religious activity of foreign citizens on the territory of
    russia. the solving of this problem we see in the removal of withdrawal of professional
    religious activity from the regulation about the use of foreign labour force in russia… in
    case this amendment is introduced, this regulation makes the professional activity of
    foreigners in the religious sphere quite possible, but only if a foreign citizen has an
    invitation for exercising such an activity from a russian religious org, which is entitled to
    use the foreigners labour and obtains the permission of corresponding state bodies for

    "1.5 .. it should be recognized inadmissible to create in the system of executive power
    certain administrative organs, which possess special executive, administrative and
    control authorities with respect to religious orgs, and withdrawal of these authorities from
    the sphere of activity of corresponding ministries and departments."

    "2.3 the idea of calling of interconfessional "round tables" or meetings for discussion the
    views of russian religious assoc. on the problems of improving the legislation about the
    freedom of conscience and the activity of religious orgs is considered to be advisable and
    useful... the representation on such meetings ought to be regulated with regard for the
    number of followers of one or other religion or confession in russian federation. the
    interests of scanty (less then 25ooo members) religious assoc on such meetings can be
    represented by more numerous religious assoc on a mutual agreement between the
    first and the latter ones."

    the catholic church put in a letter to the duma and the union of evangelical christianbaptists
    of russia did as well. here is quote from the latter: "it is necessary to make a
    thoroughly considered approach with the participation of representatives of all
    confessions.only with respect for their remarks and wishes such a bill could be scheduled
    for hearing in the state duma."
    proposals on the lines of the state duma: draft by democratic party russia:
    it mainly focuses on properties to be restored to the churches and religious orgs that
    existed before the current religion law from 1990. but it has a weight on foreign msnrs
    by demanding that these only can work in russia provided they do so per the law for
    foreign workers, per invitation from russian religious orgs which have permission to
    invite, use foreign labour, and this again under control of ministry of justice or any other
    organ of the russian federation. this is restrictive.

    draft by lisitchkin from the zhirinovsky party:
    was made and was extreme in its attempt to back up the orthodox church but disregarding
    any other religions. this draft was not considered valid for use in the duma.

    more recent draft by two deputies glasiev and lisitchkin:
    (no data about their party lines but seems it is lisitchkin in a new attempt) the title of this
    draft "recognition of the property rights of russian religious orgs" and it only concerns
    exactly that, has section of e.g. foeign msnrs or anything else which would be of our

    besides the duma project/poposals above there is a thick proposal from the rusian
    government, which is thought to be put on the lines as attempt to get duma deputies to
    use in their work. this proposal i have not translated as i have a reliable ally who read it
    and found it not different than the already existing religion law from 1990, which has the
    proper principles of freedom of religion.

    there were activity in the duma in june and rumours about fast to get a law proposal
    agreed upon so the first hearing could be scheduled. but so far there is no agreement
    stablished within the legislative deputies. most likely the law proposing work will not
    really happen until autumn/winter. but the fact that there are projects in the duma for this
    law change makes the lobbyists go on the line of the duma. we know that a parents
    committe last week attempted to get a meeting with duma deputies about this law but this
    got prevented.
    parallel to the above the non-profit charity committee for saving the youth with deputy
    chairman alexei dunts made media in moscow times 21.6.94: "the moscow duma is
    launching an investigation into the issue this month, the results will be used to push for
    major legislative changes, a duma official says. the dangerous sects appear to be mother
    of god centre, aum sinrike group and the white brotherhood. an independant commission
    will be formed from lawyers, religious specialists and medical doctors by early july to
    study the working and effects of such sects. a source close to the investigation confirmed
    that no charges have ben brought against the cults yet. in an open letter this month signed
    by 26 of the city dumas 35 deputies media orgs were urged to be more cautious with
    giving air time and page space to religious orgs.

    in june there was an international christian conference in the russian orthodox church
    where patriarch aleksey 2nd in his welcome speech incl "the positive changes in the
    field of religious freedom that have restored a full-fledged life for traditional churches
    and religious orgs at the same time have created a situation in which destructive actions
    committed by some religious and pseudo-religious groups have noticeably darkened
    religio-social and interconfessional relations".

    but in an appeal from the same confrence it was expressed:
    "we share the commitment to generally accepted principles of respect for human rights,
    incl. the right to freedom of conscience and equality of people of different nationalities
    religious and other convictions before law. we are profoundly concerned over violations
    of human rights today… in our service to society we are open to co-operation with the
    followers of other religions".

    howver the concluding doc from the conference did incl. negative comment as follows
    "spreading of sects and new religious movements, development of heathenism and
    satanist cults, the problem of proselytism is very important".
    these are the main data.


    1. get the law change of crime law for russia re acting on religious orgs, get it interpreted
    by lawyer for its use. work out handling as needed.

    2. work out a handling of the damaging "sects" so they get d.a.ed and not categorized as
    regular religions.

    3. gather other faiths in a meeting and brief up on the scene as per above, suply them with
    d.a. docs re arm forces in russia and work out basic idea on proposal to the duma and
    who would be the person to represent all in this matter. this meeting is set for 25 july by
    now and we wll gather as many as possible in this holliday period.

    4. review the many other data gathered on the scene to pick out any other aspects for use
    in handling the sit with the law.

    5. when docs arrive from eu pr office select best one for use with deputies etc in this sit
    and get them prof translated and put into duma lines.

    6. meet with ally from federal council lines (upper house) and liaise with him any other
    lines for use in getting proper data onto the deputies.

    7.get internatl allies to cont sending open letters to the patriach about the freedom of
    religion in russia and get the totalitarian grip from the past finally lifted.

    ml co osa cis
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