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Murmansk Orthodox Diocese Launches Campaign Against Pentecostal Church


(November 21, 2008)

The Murmansk diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church has launched a campaign against the construction of a Pentecostal church in the city, according to a November 14, 2008 report by the Slavic Law Center, an NGO that specializes in defending the rights of minority Christians in Russia. The diocese has reportedly distributed leaflets calling for "struggle" against the Pentecostal " totalitarian sect" which supposedly "strives for the domination over the minds and souls of residents of our city." The diocese's web site accused Russian Pentecostals of "no longer being Russian by mentality" by turning their backs on the Orthodox church, and accused the Pentecostals of "proselytizing extremism"--dangerous language in the wake of numerous spurious applications of Russia's law on extremism against political dissidents in recent years. The Slavic Law Center's report pointed out numerous instances of violence, vandalism and other crimes affecting minority Christians after similar campaigns were launched in other cities, and added that inciting religious hatred is illegal under Russian law.


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