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Federal Center of Theoretical and Applied Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences
The article analyzes the political and legal aspects of state-confessional relations in Russia. The focal point is the problems of the principle of secularism and the limits of its applicability, on the legislative regulation of the sphere of state-confessional relations, as well as on the political and regulatory framework of overcoming religious extremism. The problem of political and legal actualization of a secular state consists in an adequate definition of the place and role of religion and religious institutions in a legal secular state. At the legislative level, the Russian state positions itself as secular, however, in the sphere of real politics, it self-eliminated from solving the problem of political and legal actualization of secularism in the state. There is a whole number of types of religious and state regimes in the world: from absolute theocracy to persecution of religious organizations and their supporters. One can refer the state-legal regime existent in the Russian Federation as cooperating, wherein a special status for certain confessions is not provided for, but at the same time the state closely interacts with them. The absence of unified rules for resolving the problem of political and legal implementation of the principle of secularism evokes a clash of ideological interests. Each of the religious organizations tries to monopolize the right to truth, faith, worldview. Each of the faiths strives to reach the maximum possible coverage of citizens. A number of experts predict a new round of conflicts, related to the struggle for redistribution of spheres of influence, which can grow into the nature of interreligious confrontation. The following measures are proposed to resolve interreligious contradictions and the problem of state secularism: more precise legal qualification of the concepts “religious extremism” and “religious extremist activity”, which does not allow misunderstandings and arbitrary interpretations; establishment of the supremacy of law principles, equality of all religious traditions before the law; establishment of more strict control over coaching of clergymen in foreign educational institutions and the missionary activities of foreign religious organizations and clergy and a number of others. It seems relevant to prepare a Concept of state-confessional relations; a number of priority areas of state-church relations in the national policy of the Russian Federation has been proposed, on which this concept should be based.
Church-state relations, secularity, religious organizations, religious extremism
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