Secular authorities do not have the right to restrict temple visits during the pandemic, according to the HRC

Secular authorities do not have the right to restrict temple visits during the pandemic, according to the HRC
Saint-Petersburg. July 17. INTERFAX-Restricting the work of churches during the pandemic by secular authorities is a gross violation, since such bans should only come from religious authorities, the report of the presidential Council on human rights notes.
On Friday, the Chairman of the HRC Valery Fadeev presented a report in St. Petersburg "Lessons from the epidemic from the point of view of human and civil rights and freedoms". The full report is published on the Council's website.
The text refers to the guarantees of religious freedom enshrined in the Constitution of the Russian Federation. This right can only be restricted in order to protect the health of citizens by Federal law and cannot be restricted in a state of emergency, the Council emphasizes. Also, in accordance with the legislation on freedom of conscience, religious organizations have the right to freely perform services, religious rites, ceremonies and sacraments in religious buildings in accordance with internal regulations.
At the same time, the HRC notes numerous bans on the work of churches established by the authorities of St. Petersburg, the Ryazan and Amur regions and other regions. The human rights Council considers it a violation of the right to freedom of conscience to suspend the reception of parishioners, purchase and use of disposable utensils and dishes (spoons) during religious rites, in particular the Eucharist.
"In the first case, the main sanitary doctors actually prescribe religious organizations to stop the statutory activity of joint confession and dissemination of faith in the second - violate the constitutional principle of state interference in the activities of religious associations, thereby encroaching on the autonomy of religious associations in matters religious rules of worship", the report says.
The establishment by the state of sanitary and epidemiological requirements for conducting services, other religious rites and ceremonies is prohibited by law interference in the activities of religious organizations, according to the HRC.
The Council also considers illegal the requirements of chief sanitary doctors for registration of medical books for clergy and employees of religious organizations.
"Clergymen are not included in the lists of professions subject to mandatory medical examinations, and in religious buildings there are no production factors recognized by law as harmful or dangerous, therefore this requirement is illegal. In addition, the reporting of religious organizations to Rospotrebnadzor is not provided for by law, " the report emphasizes.
The human rights Council calls on the state and religious organizations to engage in a meaningful dialogue.
"It is obvious that the pandemic does not ignore churches, monasteries, Sunday schools and other places associated with religion. But the ban on visiting such places should come from religious authorities, not from secular ones, " the HRC believes.
  • Comments
Loading comments...