CESNUR - Centro Studi sulle Nuove Religioni diretto da Massimo Introvigne


Religious Liberty in Danger in Russia:
A Cause for Concern in Europe

Rome 26 September 2017, 2 p.m. - 5 p.m.
Camera dei Deputati (House of Parliament)
Sala del Refettorio - Via del Seminario, 76 - 00186 Rome, Italy


This seminar, organized in co-operation with MP Luigi Lacquaniti, will discuss the problems of religious liberty in Russia, a cause of serious concern in Europe. A case in point is the recent "liquidation" of the Jehovah's Witness. In the meantime, Russian authorities have moved against other religious and spiritual movements, with the same accusations of "extremism" used to support the case against the Jehovah's Witnesses. The notion of "extremism" enforced by Russian courts would allow the "liquidation" of many religions, and is supported by political, cultural, and religious factions in Russia that are hostile to the very notion of religious liberty. The latter also includes liberty of proselytization, something that is not recognized by the controversial Yarovaya laws of 2016, which greatly limits the missionary activities of all groups other than the Russian Orthodox Church and have been criticized by several international organizations. .


2 p.m. Greetings by MP Luigi Lacquaniti and other Members of the Italian Parliament

2.30 p.m. Keynote Speech. The Social Construction of "Extremism" in Russia: From Jehovah's Witnesses to Scientology and Beyond - Massimo INTROVIGNE (CESNUR, Torino, Italy)

2.50 p.m. - Religious Liberty in Russia: Some Legal Considerations - Cole DURHAM and James TORONTO (Brigham Young University)

3:10 p.m. - The Role of FECRIS and Anti-Cult Organizations in Russia - Patricia DUVAL (Attorney, Paris)

3:30 p.m. - Religious Liberty in Russia as a European Problem - Germana CAROBENE (University of Naples)

4.00 p.m. - Liberty in Russia: A Roundtable. Presiding and concluding: Raffaella DI MARZIO (LIREC, Rome, Italy). With the participation of Davide ROMANO (Editor of Coscienza e libertà, the Journal of AIDLR), Fabio PIANIGIANI (ISKCON) and representatives of various religious communities and human rights activists.

Some papers will be read in Italian, and participants will receive a written text in English.

Registration before September 22, 2017, is mandatory, indicating first and last name, and association (if any). News media representatives should also be preregistered. Please send a mail to: raffaelladimarzio@gmail.com and cesnur_to@virgilio.it.

To enter the House of Parliament, a valid passport or equivalent document is required.

Men should wear jackets and ties.

The number of places is limited and we recommend preregistering with a reasonable advance.