Russia Considers 300 Changes to Religion Law

In the coming months some 300 amendments to Russia's 1997 religion law will be considered by a working group attached to the government's Commission for Religious Associations, says the group's chairman, Andrei Sebentsov. The commission is composed of representatives of various faith communities and religious affairs officials from different government departments. Once they have drafted some proposed amendments, these must gain the approval of the Duma religion committee before consideration by parliament itself. Andrei Sebentsov, vice chairman of the commission, says the majority of the proposed amendments, including the introduction of the term "traditional religion," cannot be adopted because they contradict Russia's constitution.