Nov 18, 2016

There are some 500 destructive sects in Russia

18 November 2016


Moscow, November 18, Interfax - Yelena Mizulina, deputy head of the Federation Council's committee on constitutional legislation and state development, suggests developing a package of bills aimed at fighting destructive sects.

"I suggest discussing the possibility of creating a working group on improving legislation in this sphere and to prepare a package of bills that could ensure a systemic approach to the solution of this problem," Mizulina said at a roundtable meeting titled 'Increasing the Level of Legislative Protection of Russian Citizens from Fraudulent Actions by Destructive Sects'.

She said she believes there is a need to adopt legislation describing destructive sects because there is currently no legislative description of such a phenomenon. "We need to introduce the status of organizations that harm people, although it is difficult," the senator said.

Mizulina said there are currently some 500 destructive sects in Russia. "I am very concerned about the fact that there are very many sects in the Russian regions which are operating illegally," she said.

"Today's sects are camouflaged as various organizations conducting psychological trainings, leadership quality development seminars, there are people who teach how to survive if the end of the world comes or, for example, how to move to other planets, preferably with one's property. Many different people fall for fraudsters' tricks. Using various psychological techniques, sect members deprive people of their will and later of their property," she said.

Mizulina said that "by declaring a war on destructive, totalitarian sects one cannot allow an attack on traditional religious organizations. They will become our strong allies in the fight against frauds," the senator said.

Mizulina said, citing information possessed by the Justice Ministry, that 52 sects working in 24 regions were banned and closed via court rulings in Russia in 2015-2016.

"Such massive dissemination of sects clearly shows that something is wrong in the current legislation," Mizulina said.

She called for "a systematic approach to the solution of this problem."


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