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Russian Orthodox prelate suggests Christians organize political parties

Catholic World News - January 13, 2012

The chief political spokesman for the Russian Orthodox Church has suggested the creation of Christian political parties, prompting concerns among observers who note that the creation of political parties based on religious affiliation is illegal in Russia.

Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin, who heads the public-affairs department for the Moscow Patriarchate, acknowledged the legal ban on religious parties, but said that a party could be organized without formally registering a religious alliance. He cited the Christian Democratic parties of western Europe as a possible precedent.

Such a political party could not have the explicit backing of the Orthodox Church, Archpriest Chaplin said. But it could embody the principles of Christian political activity.

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