12 Emory Int'l L. Rev. 313 (1998)
Freedom of Religion in Russia: An Amicus Brief for the Defendant

handle is hein.journals/emint12 and id is 323 raw text is: FREEDOM OF RELIGION IN RUSSIA: AN AMICUS
BRIEF FOR THE DEFENDANT
by
Harold J. Berman*
In the absence, in this Symposium, of any representatives
of the Moscow Patriarchate of the Russian Orthodox
Church or, indeed, of any Russian proponents of the pro-
Orthodox legislation that is here under attack, it may be
fitting for an outsider to offer a defense of the Patriar-
chate's position with respect to the two main points of the
attack, namely, the Patriarchate's support of substantial
privileges for itself and other so-called traditional religious
denominations that lived under Soviet repression and its
support of restrictions upon proselytism by religious asso-
ciations from outside of Russia.
In presenting what may be called an amicus brief for the
defendant, however, I do not want to be understood as
resting its case primarily on law. The essence of its posi-
tion is founded on what is called in the Gospel of St. John
grace and truth, the grace and truth that was given by Je-
sus Christ. The Moscow Patriarchate respects the rights of
others, including their legal rights, but it subordinates
them to divine duties, and especially now to the duty to
help to restore the spiritual identity of the Russian people
at this time of crisis when the very soul of the Russian peo-
ple is in danger of being lost.
In the words of a representative of the Patriarchate, Of
course we do not want to violate international law or our
*Robert W. Woodruff Professor of Law, Emory University School of Law;
James Barr Ames Professor of Law, emeritus, Harvard University School of Law.
Major parts of this article are drawn, with permission, from the author's chapter Re-
ligious Rights in Russia at a Time of Tumultuous Transition: A Historical Theory, in
RELIGIOUS HUMAN RIGHTS IN GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE: LEGAL PERSPECTIVES (Johan
D. van der Vyver & John Witte, Jr. eds., 1996), from the author's article Religious
Freedom and the Rights of Foreign Missionaries under Russian Law, in 2 PARKER
SCH. J. EAST EUR. L. 421 (1995), and from chapter 22 (Christianity and Democracy
in Russia) of the author's book, FAITH AND ORDER: THE INTERACTION OF LAW AND
RELIGION 393-401 (1993). The author wishes to thank Jason M. Waite, Jerry C.
Liu, and Elizabeth A. Mullican for their editorial assistance.

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