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Atheism on Trial in Russia’s Stavropol

In a courtroom in Stavropol, Viktor Krasnov, a physician’s assistant, is indicted of the same crime as Giordano Bruno, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and Salman Rushdie — atheism. Krasnov substantially isn’t anxious to be in such shining company, only as no one else is anxious by this transgression case. Hopping into a time appurtenance is a great fantasy, though not when it takes we to the dungeons of the Inquisition.

Krasnov is confronting one year in prison underneath Article 148 of the Criminal Code — for “public actions that demonstrate transparent miss of respect for society and are carried out with the aim of insulting the religious feelings of believers.” His “actions” consisted of a created argue on the Stravropol page of the amicable network VKontakte in the tumble of 2014.

It all began, as so most begins, with a conversation about women — privately with a quote from the Apostle Paul: “Christ is the head of every man, and a father the head of his wife, and God the head of Christ.”

“Where’s that crap from, the Domostroi?” Krasnov wrote, referring to a Gothic Russian book of rules for family life, that recommend, in part, that a husband intermittently kick his wife.

Not only one though dual people on the forum explained to Krasnov that this was from the Bible. Krasnov got angry and called the Bible “a collection of Jewish angel tales” — nonetheless to be fair, he did add, “for me, anyway.” Then one of his opponents threatened to knock some clarity into him, to which Krasnov replied, “There is no God!

Apparently determining to not worry with theological explanation of God’s existence, Krasnov’s opponents incited to the assistance of the police, prosecutor’s bureau and court instead. They denounced him.

The current worse chronicle of Article 148 was put on the books in the tumble of 2103 as a belated response to the Pussy Riot case. The women in Pussy Riot were charged with “hooliganism,” that was absurd — as their lawyers forked out — given Pussy Riot achieved by themselves in an roughly dull church. The new chronicle of this essay in the Criminal Code was ostensible to make it probable to jail any other supporters of Pussy Riot though changing the law too much.

But Article 148 is in fact a gross defilement of the Russian Constitution. Article 14 of the Constitution clearly states that the Russian Federation is a secular state. Therefore, the rejection of religious dogmas shouldn’t put anyone behind bars.

And the essay is a violation of simple proof as well. In today’s multi-confessional world, each notation of every day, supporters of every sacrament dedicate open acts that “insult the religious feelings of believers” in other gods. Christians reject the divinity of the Quran; Muslims reject the divine inlet of Jesus Christ; Jews reject both — and the list can go on and on to everyone, including practitioners of Voodoo. Therefore, according to the minute of the law, everybody should be sent to jail regardless of their faith, including atheists, too.

The linguistic research of the Krasnov box is like a document airmailed directly from the Middle Ages. It stipulates that Krasnov’s difference could not provoke a person of a sold eremite organisation given the subject underneath contention is not a person or a group of people though rather eremite dogmas and canons. That’s why, the experts explained, “these statements are scornful to Orthodox Christianity and aimed at humiliating (offending) the feelings of believers.” Medieval scholars would have incited immature with envy: on the one hand, no Orthodox Christian was insulted, though on the other hand, that’s precisely because all Orthodox Christians were insulted.

It’s engaging to note that not all Orthodox Christians determine with these erudite experts or cruise themselves insulted. Father Antony Skrynnikov, a priest in Stavropol who doesn’t have quite comfortable feelings about Krasnov, all the same wrote in his defense: “My personal opinion is simple: the court box is meaningless and I wish that he [Krasnov] is acquitted. In my perspective he is an unhappy, mislaid soul. You can feel contemptible for him, though we can’t wish to take punish opposite him, suffer his pang or be happy if he, God forbid, is convicted.”

Certainly as the world slips into a duration of new eremite wars, governments contingency take measures to buffer flourishing narrow-minded conflicts. But the criminal formula is already sufficient to protect believers from violence or scornful acts. Swastikas drawn on the walls of a synagogue provoke some-more than practicing Jews and Jewish people. It is a coded summary job for the murder of people by race, that is a violation of the rights of everyone regardless of their sacrament or race.

To prevent such a violation, we don’t need Article 148 which, as the Krasnov box clearly shows, doesn’t so most urge the rights of Orthodox believers as it violates the right of citizens to express their opinion, the right to freedom of thought, demur and religion as tangible in Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Article 148 of the Criminal Code is a case of the heal being worse than the disease — an indication that, as it was created in St. Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians that began Krasnov’s case, “there contingency be also heresies among you.”

Victor Davidoff is a Moscow-based eccentric journalist, editor of the tellurian rights web site Chronicle of Current Events (ixtc.org).

Article source: http://www.themoscowtimes.com/article/562809.html