- Created on 30 October 2009
30.10.2009, [12:42] // Foreign relations //
MOSCOW — The Association of Orthodox Experts plans to prepare annual expert reports on freedom of conscience in Russia and in the post-Soviet space. “We won’t give up the theme of freedom of conscience in the post-Soviet space to the U.S. State Department and Western NGOs,” the association’s head Kirill Frolov told Interfax-Religion on October 28, 2009.
According to him, each year such Western reports “ignore the topic of serious problems with freedom of conscience in Ukraine.” “Several Orthodox churches were seized there only during this year, clerics and believers were beaten during such a seizure in the village of Zhuklya in the Chernihiv oblast,” the interviewee of the agency said.
“High-ranking Ukrainian officials stated it was necessary to set up ‘a local Ukrainian church’ by way of uniting with schismatic groups or some local churches invading canonical territory of others, while this is nothing else but interference in church matters,” Frolov said.
He pointed out that his association does not oppose other documents on the topic, but noted that “the position of the Orthodox expert community should be voiced.”
“It’s an objective necessity and we’re ready to discuss these questions with other expert groups,” Frolov said.
He believes that the association’s next stage in developing and structuring an Orthodox expert community should be the setting up of an Orthodox analogue of the RAND Corporation or the so-called “fabrics of thought,” “that seriously influence the intellectual climate in their societies.”