he article presents the idea that religious security in today’s society is a major component of the national security of any state, particularly Russia. At the same time the problem of religious public safety remains as one of the least studied. The article gives the definition to the following notions: "religious security", "religious sphere", "Security threats to religious society". Besides the article contains the author's classification of threats existing in the religious sphere.
One of the main problems concerning Russia's national security is the necessity to ensure religious security. The definition for religious security is still under discussion. We accept the following interpretation of this notion – "Religious security is the state of vital interests of an individual, society and state being protected from internal and external threats in the religious sphere."
It should be noted that while studying security issues, including religious, a security threat should be defined. The analysis of normative legal acts on safety shows that "threat" is the starting point of all investigations.
On this basis, we believe that in order to study the issues related to religious and public safety more profoundly, we need to pay special attention to the study of threats to the religious sphere.
In the Federal Law "On Security" art. 3 “threat” is defined as "a set of conditions and the factors that endanger vital interests of an individual, society and state." We believe that religious aspects should be also included in the given set of conditions and factors.
Thus, in relation to our topic, the threat to the religious security of the society can be defined as a set of conditions and factors generated in the religious sphere, endangering the vital interests of an individual, state and society.
In turn, under the religious sphere, we understand all social relations in the formation and existence of which religion is involved.
The threats within the meaning of the Federal Law "On Security" can be divided into external and internal.
The external threats in the religious sphere traditionally include violations of religious freedom, reflected in extremist acts. In particular, art. 37 "National Security Strategy of the Russian Federation until 2020" highlights religious extremism, as well as the growth of criminal offenses against people as the main source of threats to national security.
In our opinion, threats in the religious sphere are not exhausted by extremist acts.
The Federal Law "On Countering Extremist Activities" dated by July 25, 2002 № 114-FL [actual for April 29, 2008] , religious extremism is defined as: "... incitement of religious hatred, propaganda of exclusivity, superiority or inferiority of a person on grounds of his confession; violation of rights, freedoms and legitimate interests of people according to their religion; impeding the lawful activities of religious associations, accompanied with violence or threat; committing crimes on the grounds specified in paragraph "e" of the first part of Article 63 of the Criminal Codex of the Russian Federation; etc».
Analyzing the given definition, we can conclude that religious extremism concerns mostly the intolerance towards members of different religions, while for example the activities of numerous satanic associations, whose members commit such crimes as animal and people sacrifices, are left behind. We consider it appropriate to call these actions religious crimes. As for human sacrifice, the victims may have no relation to any religion. However, it is irrelevant to the subject of a crime.
It is worth to note that the adherents of dangerous for the society religious satanic and tantric associations have been successfully distributing drugs. For such religious groups drug trafficking is the major funding source.
Thus, we can conclude that a number of religious crimes, in particular, human sacrifices remain outside religious extremism, but, nevertheless, represent a significant threat to society.
Of course, some people may argue that the Criminal Codex of the Russian Federation provides penalties for murder, drug trafficking, etc. But the Criminal Codex does not take into account the religious motivation for crime qualification, which is a big mistake, because we believe that religious motivation in human acts is the strongest, and therefore crimes in the religious sphere have increased danger to the society and require special observation.
In our opinion, there are other threats in the religious sphere that go beyond religious extremism. A threat to religious security in Russia, of course, is the activity of religious associations, which violate the citizens rights for physical and mental health, birth and upbringing of children in the family, good education, property rights, etc.
There are religious groups, the doctrine of which is based on the idea of cosmopolitanism, whose followers refuse to join the army, which is also a threat originated in the religious sphere.
Furthermore, we think that, a person is threatened with internal endogenous danger. For example, the danger of a misunderstanding of the laws of spiritual and religious life, which may lead to another religious association, destructive in its essence. A good example is the events of the autumn 2007, related to "Penza hermits”.
According to Art. 2 The Federal Law "On Security" the state is to be responsible for the prevention and elimination of such hazards should deal with the state, as it is the main security guarantor.
At present, it is undeniable that security dangers originated in the religious sphere may threaten the constitutional order, sovereignty and territorial integrity of any state and, in particular, the Russian Federation. The study of internal documents of various religious groups shows that many of them aspire to global domination, or to the creation of new theocratic states on the basis of the territory of existing ones. Followers of such confession will protect neither the interests of the Russian state, nor any other’s.
In addition, there are evidences that some religious groups apply to foreign intelligence agencies for information, some of them are specially created for this purpose, which is also a threat to the religious sphere.
One of the threats to the constitutional system of Russia is certainly a religious separatism, which often develops on the basis of the coincidence of religious and ethnic identities of various peoples in one state. The greatest threat to the security of Russia at present is that the separatist forces and groups seeking to dismember the country, use a radical religious ideology.
Thus, ethnic and religious separatism is often the foundation for the development of religious extremism. As a rule, activists of radical nationalist and religious groupings take advantage of religious extremism.
It should be mentioned that some manifestations of religious extremism are implemented on the initiative and with support from external political institutes, seeking to establish their dominance in a particular region of the world.
The actions of extremist religious organizations are actively used by international agencies seeking to dominate the world as a means of destruction of existing states and nations. Such work is carried out within the framework of globalization processes for the subsequent subordination of society to the single world government.
We believe that globalization is clearly a threat to national security of Russia, and one of the main agents of globalization in Russia is the religious sphere.
Under these conditions, the division of Russia into subjects and regions on a national basis contributes to the development of ethno-religious separatist movements. Such a model of government structure is dangerous because the processes of religious self-identification of various nationalities in Russia is escalating, and thus separatist tendencies are on the increase.
To solve this problem it is necessary to consolidate the regions of the Russian Federation by merging several regions on the territorial basis. At the same time regions created by the territorial principle must absorb the regions started on a national basis.
A single group of people, without any ethnical division shall be brought up in the Russian Federation
Particular attention should be paid to the fact, that the Federal Law "On Security" highlights the spiritual values of Russian people among the objects of security, what reflected in the works of jurists.
So, S.V. Kozlov defines religious security as "a state of stable existence, reproduction and development of distinctive religious traditions of all peoples of Russia" . Further he explains that "the main object of protecting religious security is a confessional identity, which is based on sustainable systems of moral values and preferences. The loss of credibility of traditional religious organizations leads to the fact that a destructive religious experience receives unlimited significant effect on society. In this regard, the indisputable significance of religious traditions should not only be recognized as a dominant social structural component, but also the exclusivity of the religious experience of the nation, whose security is in question”.
Despite a rather narrow, to our mind, understanding of religious security, presented by S.V. Kozlov, we fully agree with him that the loss of confessional traditions is a serious danger for Russia.
The given definition of religious security received a particular relevance in light of Russian President speech at the meeting with representatives of the Federal Assembly of Russian Federation on January 17, 2011. During his speech the President of Russia stressed that in the process of development of Russian multinational culture, "special attention should be paid to the Russian national culture." "This - the backbone of our multinational culture", - said the President. "And this is natural - he went on. - Russians are the largest group of people in Russia, Russian is the official language. The Russian Orthodox Church is the largest in our country."The Russian President believes that the need to "develop the best traits of Russian character, which made our country strong and in fact created it. They are tolerance, compassion, ability to get along with neighbors, self-confidence."
At the same time, Russian culture is formed on the basis of Christianity, or rather, Orthodoxy, and it means that the process of developmen of Russian society is equivalent to the enhanced role and influence of the Russian Orthodox Church.
The danger of losing the religious traditions in Russia can be provoked by external, as well as internal factors. In this case, a negative impact on the Russian government in the religious sphere could be twofold.
On the one hand, this is the work of numerous foreign destructive religious associations, which splits society into small religious groups, but on the other hand, this is the activity of secular institutions of foreign countries which actively contribute to the process of maximum polarization of Russian society in the religious sphere.
Thus, we can talk about a certain system of security threats to the religious society of Russia (see Appendix № 1):
1. religious extremism, which is actively used by certain communities of the world as a tool to implement the processes of globalization. Religious extremism is a threat to an individual as well as to the state, and thus to the Russian society on the whole;
2. religious crimes committed against individuals;
3. activities of non-traditional destructive religious groups in Russian society of domestic and foreign origin, whose activity is dangerous both for the nation as a whole and for an individual;
4. federal structure of Russia, based on division of regions on the national basis;
5. endogenous threats of personality in the religious sphere.
A few words should be said about what neutralization ways of the threats to religious security we see. We believe that in this respect at the highest political level it is necessary to ensure the cultivation of spiritual and moral values of the Russian society, which are provided by traditional Russian religion.
We believe that the Russian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate) (hereinafter ROC) has a great potential to unite the Russian society as a single nation, in particular, as the Church has never divided the people based on ethnicity. Due to this position of Orthodox theology the Russian Empire had gained extensive experience of conflict-free coexistence of various religions and confessions: Orthodoxy, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, Protestantism, and others.
Granting the ROC a special legal status of traditional (at this stage of development of Russian society) is absolutely necessary step in strengthening the religious and thus the national security of Russia. Extending legal ROC would effectively deal with a whole range of threats to religious security in Russia.
There is no doubt that in the nearest future a special federal law on traditional religious associations, securing a special constitutional status of certain religious communities (in the first place, ROC) should be adopted.
In addition, the Federal Law on traditional religious associations, shall include the need for an additional constitutional agreements on social partnership of the Russian state and every religious organization, among the recognized traditional. Such agreement on social partnership should clearly mark the boundaries and status of each traditional denominations.
At the same time, it is necessary to solve the problem of high quality religious education for all segments of Russian society at the state level.
In the process of providing religious security in Russian law enforcement measures are needed as well. In some cases, the government must isolate from society those people who understand the religious life in the wrong way. In addition, the Russian legislation must prohibit the establishment, activities and participation in satanic religious associations, as well as ban the use of satanic symbols.
It should be noted that we do not claim to formulate a comprehensive system of religious threats to Russian security, and nor the schemes to eliminate them. Threats to religious identity and security of state have a systemic nature and require further study and development of legal means to neutralize them. In particular, it is necessary to reveal the connection of religious security with other security institutions, forming the structure of the national security of the Russian Federation.
In particular, today one of the major threats to the national security of Russia is corruption. In our opinion, the fight against corruption using stricter monitoring and strengthening of legal liability does not give significant results. To fight corruption a person should be responsible and take appropriate actions . So if the government official will be aware that corruption - is primarily a violation of the God’s commandments, he would never agree to a violate them. It is appropriate to recall the words of one of Christian saints, who said that a good citizen of the kingdom of God is sure to be a good citizen and the earth of the motherland. Thus, the state support of traditional religions will contribute to solving a number of problems in the field of national security.
In conclusion, it should be noted that, in our opinion, the problems associated with threats of religious security for the European Union are not less important than for Russia. And this is an important touching point for Europe and Russia, because there is much more in common between us than it might seem. At least there is the fact that our cultures are entirely based on Christianity, and we can and must unite our efforts to combat the forces which are equally hostile for both Europe and Russia.
1. Tarasevich, IA Religious security as a key area of national safety of the Russian Federation / / Gaps in the Russian legislation. - 2010, № 3. p. 13.
2. RF Code of Laws. 2002. № 30. Art. 3031.
3. "Penza hermits”
Penza hermits is a group of about 30 people who had gone to the voluntary closure to Bekovskiy district of the Penza region in Russia anticipating the end of the world, which, according to their beliefs, must have occurred in 2012 as a result of comets "Armageddon" falling to the ground. Later the date was changed to May 2008
4. Zabarchuk EL Religious extremism as a threat to the security of Russian statehood, Journal of Russian law. - 2008, № 6. p. 34 - 41. p. 38
5. Ibid. p. 39
6. Kozlov SV Legal mechanisms to ensure the safety of religious /: Thesis. ... Candidate. jur. Science: 23.00.02 / SV Goats. - Rostov on Don, 2007. p. 7.
7. Ibid. p. 7.
8. President Medvedev urges focus on Russian culture [electronic resource] / Access mode: http://www.echo.msk.ru/news/742457-echo.html
9. Kozlov SV Op. cit. p. 31 – 32
Tarasevich Ivan A
PhD of Law. Associate Professor
of Department of Constitutional
and Municipal Law of Institute of Law,
Economics and Manegement
of Tyumen State University