The Moscow Times, November 26, 2014, with Katrina Lantos Swett.
Last Friday, a video deemed offensive to the Moscow Patriarchate of the Russian Orthodox Church was ruled “extremist” by a city court in Vladimir. While Alexander Soldatov — chief editor of Credo.ru, the website that posted the offending video — now could also be tried for extremism, the real defendants should be Russia’s extremism law and the officials who are helping expand its reach and influence across the country.
The charge should be violating religious freedom and related rights of Russia’s religious minorities or anyone who offends or competes with Russia’s dominant church.
Russia’s lists of materials banned as extremist reached 2,241 items this year.
The video, which Soldatov posted last year, shows court bailiffs attempting to seize religious relics from a parish of the independent Russian Orthodox Autonomous Church and includes words that are critical of Moscow Patriarchate representatives. The Autonomous Church had been given these relics when it separated from the Moscow Patriarchate in 1988…
The Moscow Times