Restricting religious freedoms

At the end of the 20th century, the Russian Orthodox Church is fighting the growth of evangelical Christianity and other non-Orthodox faiths in Russia by supporting laws restricting religious freedom. Such a law passed parliament earlier in 1997, but was vetoed by Russian President Boris Yeltsin after intense international pressure was brought to bear. The USA threatened to withhold $200 million in aid if the law was passed, and members of the European Union expressed great concern. The head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Alexiy II, is reported to have said "We have our own traditions and history and our legislation must consider them... Entering into European society, we would like to preserve our face, our profile, those spiritual-cultural traditions which formed over the 1,000-year history of Russia.".

It was reported in 1997 that a bill was being considered by the Maharashtra State Assembly in India which bans conversions from one religion to another. Christian missionaries claim it points to their success with conversions of Hindus to Christianity. The bill is seen by church leaders as a significant violation of the Indian constitution, which guarantees citizens the freedom to choose religion and propagate their faith.

Type Classification:
D: Detailed strategies