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Russian patriarch: punish desecration without limiting free speech

Catholic World News - January 10, 2013

In the wake of a legislative proposal that would criminalize offenses against religious sensibilities, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church called upon the state to punish desecration without limiting freedom of speech.

“A fine in an amount of several hundred rubles for blasphemous words written on churches, mosques, or synagogues indicates that society does not quite realize the importance of protecting believers’ religious feelings,” said Patriarch Kirill of Moscous.

Legislative provisions, however, “should be thoroughly improved to prevent their use for arbitrary restriction of freedom of speech and creative expression.”

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