The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom yesterday released the findings stemming from its visit last year to Russia. In an 8- page Policy Brief titled Russia: Unruly State of Law, USCIRF says:
Overall, religious freedom conditions in Russia continue to deteriorate. Chronic serious problems highlighted in previous USCIRF reports remain, including the application of the religion law and the use of the anti-extremism law against peaceful religious groups and individuals. USCIRF is concerned by the arsenal of new laws against civil society passed by the Putin administration in 2012. Moreover, there are increasing signs of an official policy of “selective secularism” that favors the Moscow Patriarchate of the Russian Orthodox Church (MPROC) over other religious communities. The draft blasphemy bill before the Duma, if passed in the spring of 2013, would further curtail the freedoms of religion, belief and expression.