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The Russian Orthodox Church responded to the US accusation of violating freedom of religion

The statement of the US State Department that freedom of religion is being violated in Russia is based on the agency’s policy, Vakhtang Kipshidze, deputy chairman of the Synodal Department for Church Relations with Society and the Media, told Gazeta.ru. According to him, the issue of exercising freedom of religion has long become an “instrument of political struggle” between countries, NEWS.ru writes.

The US State Department is constantly trying to make its own judgment regarding religious freedoms in Russia, and it does so, as a rule, based on those opinions in Russian society that, for some reason, fit the agency’s policy in advance. It relies on the opinion of those organizations, which many experts call sectarian; laws concerning offending the feelings of believers also receive a negative assessment, Kipshidze said.

He added that one should not expect balanced reports from such reports, and Russian regulation of religious organizations should develop regardless of the opinion of the US State Department. Kipshidze also rebuked the States themselves for violating religious freedoms, recalling discrimination against traditional Christians.

The US State Department has included Russia on the black list of states where freedom of religion is violated, along with Myanmar, China, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan.

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