2018-01-25 17:00:00

Russia without future if it follows Europe's example in issues of religion - Deputy Speaker Tolstoy

Moscow, January 25, Interfax - Situations in which feelings of believers are insulted require special attention and cannot be ignored, State Duma Deputy Speaker Pyotr Tolstoy said.

"I want to caution against another danger: one cannot not take into account the opinion of people who are insulted by this or that action on faith," Tolstoy said at a parliamentary hearing in the State Duma on Thursday.

"Insults based on faith are unacceptable. It's one of the worst sins, it's one of the hardest situations, and our society now doesn't now know a way out because neither the authorities nor society can understand how to behave in such a situation," he said.

"I am now talking not only about the conflict over the scandalous film 'Matilda,' but also about other situations to which we, unfortunately, have not found a clear answer today," Tolstoy said.

The search for an answer "is also our common task, because without that it is impossible to broadcast our unique experience of the co-existence of different religions in one country, different ethnicities, people with different philosophies, who are working for the good of our common great Russia," he said.

"Ignoring this problem, a light attitude to it, such as we unfortunately often see in our liberal intelligentsia, is a deadlock situation that will lead to the marginalization of those people who object and will create an insurmountable conflict in society," Tolstoy said.

"We are talking about all traditional religions; a serious challenge is faced by the biggest religion in Russia, the Orthodox Church," he said.

"The image of the future is freedom to choose. If we repeat the same moves that were made before us by our colleagues in Western Europe, Russia will have no future," Tolstoy said.