Official At Powerful Russian Orthodox Body Calls For Re-Criminalization of Homosexuality

Staying with Russia, Interfax Religion has comments from Roman Silantyev, who heads the human rights centre at the World Russian People’s Council; take a deep breath:

The idea to return the criminal article for sodomy seems quite logical to me. The non-acceptance of homosexuality is a sign of healthy moral atmosphere in the society along with the rejection of racism and chauvinism…

Further, a law would allow Orthodox believers

to get rid of people, who indecently interpret the commandment on love.

Silantyev is also an expert on Islam, and he added the detail that the move would also isolate Wahhabis, who, he says, “practice sensuous perversions along with religious perversions”.

Silantyev was speaking in support of a proposed criminal penalty suggested by a former Orthodox priest named Ivan Okhlobystin, who last month expressed the view that gay people should be burnt alive in ovens. According to Interfax, Silantyev’s statement reflects the position of his organisation.

The World Russian People’s Council is not some fringe hardline outfit; it sits at the centre of Orthodox power in Russia, as a 2011 article by Valery Sozayev explains:

The World Russian People’s Council (WRPC) became one of the more respectable conservative organisations. It was launched in 1993 and its current leader is Patriarch Kirill. Since 2005, the organisation has a consultative status at the United Nations. Its presidium includes prominent political and cultural figures of Russia (Culture Minister of the Russian Federation Avdeyev, Chairman of the Constitutional Court Zorkin, Foreign Minister Lavrov, President of the Russian Academy of Sciences Osipov, St. Petersburg’s Governor Poltavchenko, and many others). It was at the congresses of this organisation that the ideas to “revive Russia”, and in fact to impose Orthodox Christian conservatism on Russia, were voiced, later to be implemented by the government.

I discussed the Council previously in 2007, and Kirill more generally here. WRPC conferences have also been promoted in the USA by the World Congress of Families, and according to state media in Belarus,  an Minsk-based organisation called Family-Unity-Fatherland is the “official partner of the World Congress of Families and the World Russian People’s Council”.

A few posts ago, I drew attention to a quote from journalist Jeff Sharlet, whose promised new report on the anti-gay movement is eagerly awaited. His observation bears repeating:

It’s time to recognize that a global homophobic movement has emerged. Each country is distinct; but the rhetoric is strikingly similar. I’ve reported firsthand on this from Uganda, Russia, Kenya, and the U.S. I keep coming across the same crooked statistics, the same obsession with Soros money, the same conflation of homosexuality with pedophilia. It’s not a conspiracy. I’ll say it again: It’s not a conspiracy. It’s worse. It’s a movement, a monstrous one.

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