Russians launch dedicated center to fight ‘atheist extremism
Posted by doctore0 on August 21, 2013
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A group of activists connected with the Russian Orthodox Church are setting up a center against atheist extremism which, according to them, is promoted mainly by foreign-sponsored organizations.
The decision was announced this week at a meeting between city residents and deputies of a district council that was held near the pilgrimage center of the Moscow Patriarchate, in south-west Moscow.
“The atheist extremism is currently rearing its head. It is sponsored by various funds and NGOs with roots outside Russian borders,” reads the first statement released by the new movement.
The group claims that their enemies are opposing citizens’ lawful right for freedom of thought, conscience and religion, guaranteed by the Constitution.
In particular, the activists listed incidents when certain people protested against the construction of new churches, “creating an artificial psychosis and pumping up hysteria by intimidating the public”, quoting non-existent laws and declaring all public discussions unlawful.
The statement emphasized the fact that atheist extremists were often acting on behalf of local residents by creating grassroots groups, but the real masterminds preferred to remain in the dark.
The Moscow City authorities together with the Russian Orthodox Church are currently implementing the so called “Program-200” – a plan according to which 200 Orthodox churches must be erected throughout the capital in the next 10 to 15 years. Russian mass media estimated the overall budget of the program at about $1 billion and financing comes from a non-government fund. The authors of the program claimed that after it is implemented there will be a church for every 20,000 residents located 1 kilometer or less from residential areas.