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of the Russian Orthodox Church expressed concern over a court ruling
in the Far Eastern city of Vladivostok that outlined destroying 40
Bibles in accordance with the notorious “Yarovaya legislation,”
the Vedomosti newspaper reported Wednesday.
this week, Russian media reported a Vladivostok court handing down a
30,000-ruble ($495) fine to the Salvation Army christian organization for
incorrectly marking bibles the organization was
distributing. In addition to the fine, the court ordered the books' destruction – 36 Russian-language Bibles and four English-language
ones among them.
is the first precedent of implementing the “Yarovaya legislation”
and its harsher regulations for missionaries. “Essentially, the
organization was punished for illegal missionary – not terrorist or
extremist – activity by destruction of the Bible,” a spokeswoman for the Moscow Patriarchy of the Russian Orthodox Church Xenia Chernega
Salvation Army's lawyer Mikhail Frolov told Vedomosti that the court
has overstepped its authority by demanding to destroy the Bibles –
the Administrative Code outlines confiscating property, but not
destroying it, he said.
of the organization in Russia Alexander Khorkov called the court
ruling “blasphemous.” “Seizing books and destroying them – it
is just nonsense,” he said.