Russian government approves draft amendment “On Freedom of Conscience”, easing registration for religious organizations
On March 20th, 2014, the Russian government confirmed a bill “On amending Federal Law ‘On freedom of conscience and religious associations’ and abrogating provisions of certain legislative acts of the Russian Federation”, and made the decision to submit the bill to the Duma.
We remind the reader that these changes were prepared by the Ministry of Justice in August 2013.
The change primarily drops the requirement to confirm that a religious group has existed for at least 15 years in order to be registered as a religious organization. Previously, this solution was declared unacceptable by the European Court of Human Rights.
Additionally, the bill removes the obligation for religious organizations to report annually on their activity, which does not relieve of them of the reporting routine for all nonprofit organizations.
Translated by Matthew McDonald