«Even the USSR was not» Church against the idea of the Ministry of culture on the supervision of monuments

© RIA Novosti / Grigory to Sysoeva in fotobanka Cathedral Spasa nerukotvornogo obraza (St. Basil’s Cathedral) and the skyscrapers of the Moscow city«Even the USSR was not» Church against the idea of the Ministry of culture on the supervision of monuments© RIA Novosti / Grigory to Sysoeva the image Bank

In the Russian Orthodox Church called for in the draft law of the Ministry of culture of the Russian Federation on establishing public control over the cultural heritage.

The draft Federal law «On amendments to the Federal law «On objects of cultural heritage (monuments of history and culture) of peoples of the Russian Federation» and certain legislative acts of the Russian Federation» published on the official website of the Ministry of culture. The document, according to the developer, is aimed at improving the procedure of state supervision in the field of protection of cultural heritage.

According to the chief lawyer of the Moscow Patriarchate abbess Xenia (Chernega) the right to exercise such control is provided to public organizations «through the establishment of a public inspection, the members of which have the right to freely, without regard to the mode of worship and other religious activities, to visit and inspect owned by religious organizations cultural heritage and their territory.» According to the document, religious organizations are unable to establish such inspection.

«Since more than 90% of cultural heritage objects owned or used by religious organizations, the bill will pave the way for the unprecedented intervention of public associations in activities of religious organizations. Thus, it will be grossly violated not only the norms of national legislation and international commitments guaranteeing religious communities the right to carry out activities in accordance with their own internal regulations and hierarchical structure», — quotes the words of Chernega Synodal Department for relations between Church and society and the media.

«Even in Soviet times, when anti-religious propaganda was part of state ideology, public control over activities of religious organizations were not permitted», she added.

According to her, such control on the part of public organizations «lies outside the legal field». This situation can lead «to the arbitrariness of individual community groups.»

«The bill requires a serious revision in terms of eliminating monuments of history and culture for religious purposes from the list of objects subject to public control and cannot be supported as drafted», — said the representative of the Russian Orthodox Church.

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