Spotlight on Catholic and Orthodox churches in Russia
The Russian government has asked parliament to amend a bill that would set jail terms for "offending religious feeling". The measure was proposed by lawmakers after last year's Pussy Riot protest at a Moscow cathedral. Critics have said it may harm Jews, Muslims and others outside the Russian Orthodox Church. But one of the lawmakers who sponsored the bill, said a phrase seen to favour the Russian Orthodox Church would be removed and the legislation would protect all religions operating legally in Russia.
Meanwhile, the UK director of Aid to the Church in Need, Neville Kyrke-Smith, recently travelled to Russia and visited a number of regions where ACN is providing pastoral support both for the Russian Orthodox Church and the Catholic Church.
He spoke to Lydia O’Kane about how the Orthodox and Catholic churches in the country are being brought closer by common concerns. It seemed to me there had been a sort of sea change partly because of the common threats we had.” He goes on to say that increasing Islamic fundamentalism and secularism in the country, is a cause for concern for both communities.
Listen to Lydia O’Kane’s interview with Neville Kyrke-Smith at Vatican Radio