NGO Calls for Withdrawal of Recognition for Russian-Orthodox Church in Austria

Country: Austria

Date of incident: August 6, 2012

The Austrian Initiative “Religion is a private matter” seeks to deprive the Russian-orthodox Church in Vienna of its legal personality because of its involvement in the “Pussy Riot” case.

After the prosecution of and verdicts against the leaders of the rockband “Pussy Riot”, who sang and shouted  “Holy Mother, blessed Virgin, expel Putin!” the sacred space of the Church of the Redeemer in Moscow, an Austrian initiative seeks to deprive the Russian-orthodox Church of its legal status. Their main argument: The church holds a too close relationship with and systematically supports the Russian leader Putin. Interestingly, the Initiative “Religion is a private matter” considers the legal recognition of any religion as a worrying fact. While the verdicts against the singers of “Pussy Riot” are for many unacceptable, the legal status of Churches must not depend on the opinions they hold and interactions they choose. To call for a restriction of the institutional dimension of freedom of religion violates human rights and freedoms, and the basic principles of our society. Source: Initiative “Religion ist Privatsache”: