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Excerpts from the JRL E-Mail Community :: Founded and Edited by David Johnson

Russian Duma speaker urges care in enforcing religious property restitution law

Domes with Orthodox CrossesThe authorities should carefully approach the implementation of the law on transferring former religious property from state to religious organizations, Russian State Duma speaker Boris Gryzlov has said. He was
addressing journalists on 6 January, as reported by Interfax news agency on the same day.

Gryzlov said: "I call on executive bodies at all levels to carefully approach the implementation of the law. The transfer process must be transparent and civilized."

He continued: "At the same time, the implementation of the law must not worsen the situation of those who occupied these buildings before their transfer. MPs will carefully observe this."

Explaining the law, Gryzlov added: "Special care was devoted to protecting cultural institutions, enterprises and organizations and to providing them with equivalent floor space." He continued: "The law regulates issues of providing access to buildings and premises which a religious organization will receive as well as the safety of property, protection of tenants and the protection of residents that live under the terms of social housing in the premises that are being transferred."

Speaking about the preservation of monuments, Gryzlov said: "I believe the state and religious organizations are equally interested in the preservation of monuments because this is a part of our history and our great culture."

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