Greenbelt Interfaith News

    September 24, 1997

    Breaking News
    Upper House of Russian Parliament Passes Revised Religious Bill

    8:45 p.m. EDT

    The upper house of Russia's parliament today joined the lower house in passing the revised version of the act entitled "On Freedom of Conscience and on Religious Associations," according to news service reports. The bill was passed unanimously and now goes to President Boris Yeltsin for approval. A spokesman for President Yeltsin has said that he will sign the bill, the Associated Press reports.

    An earlier version of the bill was vetoed by President Yeltsin in July. Members of the executive committee later met with representatives of religious groups likely to be affected by the legislation, which restricts the activities of most religious organizations in the country. Catholic and Protestant groups have indicated that they are unsatisfied with the revised bill, which is backed by President Yeltsin and the Russian Orthodox Church.