Orthodox Church Patriarch Alexy II urged the State Duma on Friday to take
the church's interests into account in lawmaking and defended religious
education in schools.
Alexy II said the initial version of a bill on rallies had cast
legal doubt on some of the church's rites by banning all street
demonstrations after 11 p.m. "What about the Easter night
procession?" he said at talks with deputies.
The Duma eventually amended the bill by making an exemption for
religious proceedings and passed it in the final of three required
Alexy II urged deputies to consult with the church during
lawmaking. "I would strongly ask you to take into account the
interests of religious organizations while drafting bills dealing with
issues of morals, education, land and taxation," he said.
He pushed for privileged conditions of using farmland, saying the church
may help revive agricultural production.