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  Wednesday, August 12, 2020
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Patriarch Alexis II of Moscow and All Russia is concerned over the growth of destructive sects in Russia
"We do not have any religious conflicts. But there may be problems with destructive sects which Russia has in abundance," Alexis II said at the meeting with Human Rights Commissioner of the Council of Europe Alvaro Gil-Robles in Moscow on Tuesday. There are some 6,000 registered sects in Russia today. "Sometimes these sects have an influence on people's psyche, are engaged in financial machinations and even drive people to suicide," the patriarch said. According to him, sectarians often accuse authorities of not supporting sects. "The Japanese totalitarian destructive sect Aum Shinrikyo was active in Russia in the 1990s. Many state officials demanded that I should meet with Asahara (the Aum leader)," Alexis II said. Aum Shinrikyo, a notorious Japanese spiritual organization, had dozens of thousands of followers. It masterminded the gas attack on the Tokyo subway in 1995 killing 200 people. "Fortunately, I did not give in to this pressure, otherwise, I would have been summoned to Tokyo to give evidence," the patriarch said. The Russian Orthodox Church conducted dialogue and cooperated with the religious organizations which are not involved in any destructive activities, he stressed. "The religious situation in Russia is stable and positive," Alexis II concluded.
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