16 February 2019, 13:16
Sochi Buddhist fined for meditation
The court has found the resident of Sochi, who conducted collective Buddhist meditations, guilty of illegal missionary activities and fined him by 5000 roubles. The court ruling has caused resonance among Facebook users.
The Prosecutor's Office and the FSB have established that the 32-year-old resident of Sochi for several years met with supporters of Buddhism in a boat hangar.
He conducted collective meditations on behalf of the centralized religious organization "Russian Association of Buddhists, the Diamond Way of the Karma Kagyu Tradition". According to the "Sova" Information and Analytical Centre, law enforcement bodies have blamed him for the absence of due permits from this organization.
"In fact, his activities are missionary, which implies registration of a religious association at the Ministry of Justice," the "Kommersant-South" quoted a source from the Prosecutor's Office of the Krasnodar Territory on February 12.
The Khosta Court of Sochi found him guilty of violating legislation on the freedom of conscience, religion and religious associations (part 4, Article 5.26, of the Code of Administrative Offences) and imposed a fine of 5000 roubles on him.
Facebook users were outraged at the punishment of the Buddhism supporter.
"Should I take a license to pray too?" the user Tanya Ye wrote ironically on February 15.
"In Russia, it is too late to fight for and defend anything – rights or freedoms, including the religion. The only thing a Buddhist, who is persecuted, should do is to move to a real Buddhist country," the user Anton Muskin believes.
This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on February 16, 2019 at 04:43 am MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.