General
Lay Russian Orthodox Slam Ban On Religion-Based Political Parties
Catholic World News, 2/7/2001
Moscow - A lay Russian Orthodox group has criticized a proposed ban on political parties formed around religious or ethnic principles.
The Union of Orthodox Christians said the bill proposed to the State Duma lower house of parliament on Wednesday would deprive millions of people who wish to have a political voice based on their traditional values from being represented in government.

The union said it is impossible to achieve the country's revival, or political stability in society, without such political parties, noting that Christian parties are an important element of political systems in industrially-developed countries, primarily in Western Europe. Orthodox Church rules prevent its priests from taking part in politics, or being elected to executive or legislative bodies at the federal or local level. The ban does not extend to lay Orthodox Christians.
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