Moskau (kath.net/KNA) A majority of the Russian affirmed greater severity for blasphemy laws. As the independent research institute Lewada revealed on Monday, 49 percent agree that the defamation of religious sentiments should be an act punishable by law. 34 Percent are against.
The defamation of religious feelings have been in force in Russia only as an ordinance violation till now. A partisan bill will provide in the future for three years imprisonment. additionally the damage of Church spaces will be punished with five years in prison. The Parliament will rule over it in January. The initiators point to the increase in the defilement of faith communities and damage against religious sites.
There was outrage in Russia above all concerning the protest of "Pussy Riot" in the largest Orthodox Church in Moscow last February. Two of the participants were charged under "hooliganism out of religious hate" to two years confinement and a third musician was sentenced to probation. For this punishable act there is a possible 7 year sentence.
According to the poll 74 percent if Russians recognize themselves as Orthodox Christians. That is 6 percent lower than 2009. The number of Muslims climbed between the three years from 4 to 7 percent. Catholics have shown themselves at 1 percent, therefore somewhat more than three years before. Atheists remained unchanged at 5 percent. A further 10 percent described themselves as without confession.