Chief Rabbi of Russia is for restriction on the freedom of religion for destructive sects

Moscow, Russia - Mechanisms to regulate the sphere of religious life are necessary in the first place for people to shield them from the influence of destructive sects, chief rabbi of Russia Berel Lazar said.

‘There is no doubt that the state has to create some regulating mechanism to protect its citizens from all sorts of false gurus. Of course, the very fact that such a mechanism exists constitutes a certain restriction on the freedom of religion. This is absolutely necessary, first and foremost, for the convenience of people themselves'’, - the rabbi said in his interview to Interfax while commenting on the recent report of U.S.Department of State, in which Russia was listed among the countries which treat non-traditional religions with prejudice.

To confirm his words he said that ‘Russian Muslims often have problems with the false ‘imams’, mainly from abroad, announcing jihad and summoning their citizens to terror. The Orthodox church is also forced to deal with tens of totalitarian sects, which claim that they are ‘true Christians’.

‘This problem also exists even in most democratic countries, but even there, authorities are forced to sometimes resolve such problems with repressive methods - remember the infamous story with ‘Aum Sinrike’, the interviewee noted.

He said further that the public prosecutor’ office has just ordered a ban on the so called ‘Tserkov Belovodye’(the ‘Whitewater’ church). It appears that this sect was not only ‘practicing sadism and orgies, but they also instill elements of Nazi ideology under the guise of religion in the deceived people.’

‘If anyone tells me that this is a restriction of religious belief, I will answer: if it is a restriction, I am for it’, the rabbi said.