Expert opinion: totalitarian sects in Russia strengthen ties with terrorists

Totalitarian sects in Russia have become "breeding grounds" of terrorists. The State, the Church and the society must consolidate their efforts in the fight against this evil.

Such is the opinion of the participants of the "round table" Totalitarian Sects as Weapons of Mass Destruction conducted in Moscow on Tuesday.

According to Director General of the Research Center for Development and National Security Strategies Igor Oleinik, two "worrisome aspects" have materialized in the last two years. First, it is an active infiltration of sect members into educational institutions and social security organizations, including institutions that provide assistance to drug addicts. Secondly, totalitarian sects have started strengthening their ties with terrorist organizations.

"We have seen obvious connections between latest terrorist acts in Chechnya, involving suicide-bombers, and totalitarian sects," Mr. Oleinik stated. He said that suicide-bombers, who blew up the building of Chechen administration in December last year, were people of Slavic origin, members of quasi-Islamic sects.

"The State cannot solve this problem on its own," the expert believes, "because totalitarian sects hunt for people who seek some sort of faith. The Church cannot deal with this problem alone either, because in many cases the use of force is required, and only the State has the right to use forceful means. In addition, an active involvement of the entire Russian society is absolutely necessary." Mr. Oleinik also emphasized the fact that "in recent years the State has neglected the problem related to totalitarian sects." As practical solutions, the participants of the "round table" suggested making amendments to Russian legislature (develop new concept of the existing Law on Freedom of Conscience and Religious Associations, introduce a draft of the law on totalitarian sects and psychological terrorism, and include an Article on psychological violence in the RF Criminal Code), forbid adepts of totalitarian sects to work in administrative organs in the sphere of education and social security (by court's decision), and create a network of state-controlled information and consulting centers dealing with problems of sectarianism.

Leading psychologists, representatives of the Russian Orthodox Church, Interior Ministry and other state organs participated in the current discussion.

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Author`s name Editorial Team