new law “On Freedom of Conscience and Religious Associations” entered into force on May 1. The state asserts that religious freedom must be subordinated to national security, and so the law prohibits: missionaries, teaching religion in school, forming political movements along religious lines, or using religious cover for “spreading slanderous or destabilizing fabrications” about the government. All religious groups must register, and groups with fewer than 100 members will be denied registration. The law draws heavily on Soviet precedent and in some respects follows the law “On Freedom of Conscience and Religious Associations” adopted in Russia last year.
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