'On Freedom of Conscience and on Religious Associations'
September 19, 1997
The Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation,
Confirming the right of each to freedom of conscience and freedom of creed, and also to equality before the law regardless of his attitudes to religion and his convictions; basing itself on the fact that the Russian Federation is a secular state; recognizing the special contribution of Orthodoxy to the history of Russia and to the establishment and development of Russia's spirituality and culture; Respecting Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Judaism and other religions and creeds which constitute an inseparable part of the historical heritage of Russia's peoples; considering it important to promote the achievement of mutual understanding, tolerance and respect in questions of freedom of conscience and freedom of creed; hereby adopts this federal law .
The Subject Regulated by This Federal Law
This federal law regulates the legal relationships in the area of the rights of man and citizen to freedom of conscience and to freedom of creed. and also the legal status of religious associations.
Laws on Freedom Of Conscience and Religious Associations
(1) The laws on freedom of conscience and religious associations consist of the corresponding norms of the Constitution of the Russian Federation, the Civic Code of the Russian Federation, and also this federal law, other normative legal acts of federal law adopted in accordance with them and normative legal acts of subiects of the Russian Federation.
(2) The rights of man and citizen to freedom of conscience and to freedom of creed are regolated by federal law. Laws and other normative legal acts enacted in the Russian Federation and affecting the realisation of freedom of conscience , freedom of creed and also the activities of religious associations must be consistent with this federal law. If normative legal acts adopted by subjects of the Russian Federation on questions of the protection of the right to freedom of conscience and freedom of creed, or on questions of the activities of religious associations, contradict this federa! law, this federal law is to prevail.
(3) Nothing in the law on freedom of conscience and religious associations may be interpreted in such a way as to diminish or limit the right of man and citizen to freedom of conscience and freedom of creed, as established by the Constitution of the Russian Federation or stemming from international treaties of the Russian Federation.
The Right to Freedom of Conscience and to Freedom of Creed
(1) Freedom of conscience and freedom of creed are guaranteed in the Russian Federation, including the right to confess. individually or jointly with others, any religion or not to confess any, and the freedom to choose, change, possess or disseminate religious or other convictions and to act in accordance with them. Foreign citizens and persons without citizenship who are legally present on the territory of the Russian Federation have the right to freedom of conscience and freedom of creed on an equal footing with citizens of the Russian Federation, and bear responsibility as established by federal laws for the violation of the laws on freedom of conscience, freedom of creed and religious associations.
(2) The right of man and citizen to freedom of conscience and to freedom of creed may be restricted by federal law only to the extent to which this is necessary for the goals of defending the foundations of the constitutional system, morality, health, or the rights and legal interests of man and citizen, or of securing the defense of the country and the security of the state.
(3) The establishment of privileges or restrictions, just as any other form of discrimination on the basis of one's attitude toward religion, is not permitted.
(4) Citizens of the Russian Federation are equal before the law in all spheres of civic, political, econornic, social and cultural life, independent of their attitudes toward religion or religious affiliations. A citizen of the Russian Federation, in the event that military service contradicts his convictions or creed. has the right to substitute alternative civilian service for it. Upon the request of religious organizations, clergymen may in peacetime, by a decision of the President of the Russian Federation and in accordance with the laws of the Russian Federarion on military service, be granted deferment from conscription into military service and exemption from military training.
(5) Nobody may be required to discuss his attitudes toward religion, or be subjected to compulsion in the forming of his attitudes toward religion, toward the confessing or retusing to confess a religion, toward participation or lack of participation in worship services. other religious rituals or cerermonies, the activities of religious associations or religious training. The attraction of minors to religious associations and also the teaching of religion to them against their will or withaut the agreement of their parents or guardians is forbidden.
(6) Actions hindering the realisation of the right freedom of conscience and freedom of creed, including action entailing coercion of individual, calculated insults of the feelings of citizens in connection with their attitudes toward religion, the destruction or damage of property, and threats of such actions, are forbidden and are to be prosecuted by law. The conducting of public activities and distribution of texts and images insulting the religious feelings of citizens immediately adjacent to objects of religious veneration, is forbidden.
(7) The secrecy of confession is protected by law. A clergyman may not be held accountable for refusing to provide evidence about circumstances which became known to hin, through confession.
The State and Religious Associations
(1) The Russian Federation is a secular state. No religion may be established as a state or compulsory religion. Religious associations are separate from the state and are equal before the law.
(2) In accordance with the constitutional principle of the separation of religious associations from the state, the state:
· is not to interfere in questions of the formation by a citizen of his attitudes toward religion or of his religious affiliation, or in the upbringing of children by their parents or guardians in accordance with their own, convictions and with right of the child to freedom of conscence and of creed;
· is not to call upon religious associations to carry out the functions of organs of state power, other state organs state institutions, or organs of local government;
· is not to interfere in the activities of religious associations if those activities do not contradict this federal law;
(3) is to secure the secular character of education and of state and municipal educational institutions, rights of citizens to freedom of conscience and creed and the equality of religious associations before the law; is to regulate by law the granting of tax privileges and other privileges to religious organizations; and is to provide financial, material and other aid to religious organizations in the restoration, maintenance and protection of buildings and objects which are monuments of history and culture, and also in providing instruction in general eductional subjects in educational institutions created by religious organizations in accordance with the laws of the Russian Federation on education.
(4) The activities of organs of state power and of organs of local government may not be accompanied by pubilc religious rituals or ceremonies. Functionaries of organs of state power, of other state organs and of local government, and also military personnel do not have the right to use their offcial positions for the formation of one or another type of attituds toward religion.
(5) In accordance with the constitutional principle of the separation of religious associations from the state, religious associations:
· are formed and carry out their activities in accordance with their own hierarchical and institutional structure; choose, appoint and replace their personnel in accordance with their own rthes;
· are not to carry out functions of organs of state power, other state organs, state institutions or organs of local government
· are not to take part in the elections of organs of state power or of local government;
· are not to take part in the activites of political parties or political movements, or to provide them with material or other help.
(6) The separation of religious associations from the state is not to entail any limitation on the rights of their members to take part equally with others in the managing of state affairs, in the elections of organs of state power and of organs of local government, or in the activities of political parties or movement or of other social association .
(7) By request of religious organizations, the appropriate organs of state power in the Russian Federation have the right to declare religious holidays as non-working days in the appropriate territories.
(1) Everyone may receive religious education according to his choice, individually or jointly with others.
(2) The upbringing and education of children is to be carried out by parents or guardians, taking into account the right of the child to freedom of conscience and of creed.
(3) Religious organizations have the right, in accordance with their charters and with the laws of the Russian Federation, to create educational institutions.
(4) Upon the request of their parents or guardians, with the agreement of children studying in state or municipal educational institutions, the administration of these institutions by agreement with the appropriate organ of local government is to offer religious organizations the opportunity to teach religion to children outside the framework of the educational program.
(1) As a religious association in the Russian Federation is recognized a voluntary association of citizens of the Russian Federation and otlher persons permanently and legally residing on the territory of the Russian Federation, formed with the goals of joint confession and dissemination of their faith and possessing features corresponding to that goal:
· a creed;
· the performance of worship services, religious rituals and ceremonies;
· the teaching of religion and the religious upbringing of its followers.
(2) Religious associations may be created in the form of religious groups, or religious organisations.
(3) The creation of religious associations in organs of state power, other state organs, state instutions, organs of local government, military installations, or in state or municipal organizations is not permitted.
(4) The creation and activities of religious associations the goals and actions of which violate the law is forbidden.
A Religious Group
(1) A voluntary association of citizens, formed for the goals of joint confession and dissemination of their faith, carrying out its activities without state registration and without obtaining the legal capabilities of a legal personality, is recognized as a religious group in this federal law. Premises, and property necessary for the activites of a religious group, are to be provided for the use of the group by its participants.
(2) Citizens forming a religious group with the intention of eventually transforming it into a religious organization are to inform the local authorities about its creation and the beginning of its activities.
(3) Religious groups have the right to carry out worship services, religious rituals, and ceremonies, and also the teaching of religion and religious upbringing of their followers
A RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATION
(1) A free association of citizens, or other persons permanently and legally residing on the territory of The Russian Federation, formed with the goals of joint confession and dissemination of their faith, and registered as a legal personality in accordance with practice established by law, is recognized as a religious organization.
(2) Religious organizations, depending on the territory where they are active, are divided into local and centralized ones.
(3) A religious organization consisting of ten or more partecipants who are at least 18 years old and who are permanently residing in one locality or in one urban or rural settlement is recognized as a local religious organization.
(4) A religious organization consisting in accordance with its charter of no fewer than three local religious organizations is recognized as a centralized religious organization.
(5) A centrailzed religious organization the structures of which have been active on the territory of the Russian Federation on a legal basis for no fewer than 50 years as of the moment when the said religious organisation files its application for state registration to the registring organ has the right to use in its names the words 'Russia', 'Russian' and derivatives of these.
(6) An institution formed by a central religious organization in accordance with its charter or an organization which has the aim and features specified in Point 1 of Article 6 of this federal law, including a governing or coordinating organ or institution or also an institution of professional religious education is also recognized as a religious organization.
(7) The organs of State, in considering matters touching upon the activity of religious organizations within society, are to take into account the territorial sphere of the activities of a religious organization, and are to grant the appropriate reiIgious organizations the chance of partecipating in considering these questions.
(8) A religious organization is to have a full name which contains information on its confessional adherence. A religious organization must indicate its full name when it carries out its activities.
(9) Religious organizations are obliged to inform annually the organ registering religious organizations of the continuation of their activities, including the information contained in the single state register of legal personalities. Such information about local religious organizations can be presented to the registering organ by the appropriate centralized religious organization. Failure to submit this information over a three-year period gives the registering organ grounds to appeal to a court to declare that the religious organization has ceased its activities.
THE CREATION OF A RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATION
(1) No fewer than ten citizens of the Russian Federation may be founders of a local religious organization, joining together as a religious group which must have confirmation from the organs of the local government that it has existed on the given territory for no less than fifteen years, or confirmation from a centralized religious organization of the same creed that it forms part of its structure. Centralized religious organizations are formed when there exist no fewer than three local religious organizations of the same creed in accordance with the internal procedures of the religious organizations if these do not contradict the law.
THE CHARTER OF A RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATION
(1) A religious organization functions on the basis of its charter, which is confirmed by its founders or by a centralized religious organization, and which must conform with the demands of the civic law of the Russian Federation.
(2) The charter of a religious organization is to include:
· its name, address, type of religious organization, creed, and, when it belong to an already existing centralized religious organization,
· its name;
· its aimes, goals and basic forms of activity;
· the procedure for its creation and termination of activity;
· the strudture of the organization, its administrative organas, the procedure for their formation and areas of competence;
· the sources of finance and other property of the orgarization;
· the procadure for introducing changes and additions to its charter
· the procedure for disposing of property should it cease its activity;
· other information relevant to the pecuilarities of the activities of the said religious organization.
STATE REGISTRATION OF RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATIONS
(1) State rergistration of refigious organizationa is performed by the federal organas of justice and by the organan of justice of the subjects of the Russian Federation by rules to be estabilshed in accordance with the civic law of the Russian Federation and with this federal law.
(2) State registration of a local and also of a centralized raligious organization consisting of local religious organizations located within the limits of the territory of one subject of the Russian Federation, is performed by the organ of justice of the corresponding subject of the Russian Federation.
(3) The federal organ of justice registers centralizad religious organizations which have local religious organizations on the territory of two or more subjects of the Russian Federation.
(4) State registration of religious organizations fomed by centralized religious organizations in accordance with point 7 of Article 8 of this federal law is performed by that organ of justice which registered the corresponding religious organization.
(5) For the state registration of a local religious organization, its founders are to submit the following to the relevant organ of justice.
· an application for registration;
· a list of those who torm the religious organization with an indication of their citizenship, their home address, and date of birth;
· the charter of the religious organization;
· minutes of the constituent meeting which founded it
· a document issued by an organ of the local government and confirming ththat the said religious group has existed over the course of no less than fifteen years on the relevant territory, or a document confirming its rnembership in a centralized religious organization and issued by that centralized organization's govening body
· information on its basic creed and related practice, including the history of how the religion arose and a history of the said associations
· the forms and methods of its activity, its attitudes toward the family and marriage, toward education, particulars of its attitude toward the health of its followers, restrictions on the organization's members and clergy as regards their rights and duties as citizens
· a document confirming the location (legal address) of the newly formed religious organization
(6) In a case in which the supreme governing organ (center) of the religious organization which is being formed is located outside the Russian Federation, in addition to the documents stipulated in point 5 of the present article, in accordance with established practice, the statutes or other founding document of the foreign religious organzation confirmed by a state organ of the country in which the organization is located, must be submitted.
(7) The basis for state registration of centralizad reilgious organizations, and also of religious organizations formed by centralized religious organizations, is:
· an application for registration
· a list of the founders of the religious organization
· the charter of the newly-formed religious organization, confirrned by its founder (founders);
· a document confirming the location (legal address) of the newly-formed religious organization;
· a copy, attested by notary, of the charter and proof of the state registration of the founder (founders);
· the appropriate decisions of legally competent organs of the founder (founders).
In the creation of a centralized religious organization The founder (founders) is to present also the charters of no fewer than three local religious organizations which belong to its structure, and information about any other religious organizations included in its structure.
(8) An application for state registration of a religious organization weated by an existing religious organization or according to a confirrnation issued by an existing centralized religious organization is to be reviewed within a month from the day when all the documents listed in this article have been submitted.
In other cases, the registering organ has the right to extend the period for examination of the documents for a further six months for the carrying out of state expert analysis by specialists in religious studies. The procedure for the execution of this state study is to be established by the Government of the Russian Federation.
(9) In cases where an applicant (applicants) does not observe the requirements in points 5, 6 and 7 of the current article, the registering organ has the right to disregard the application, informing the applicant (applicants) of this decision.
(10) In cases where the decision is positive, a certificate is given to the applicant of the state registration of the religious organization in the established form, and information about the registration is recorded in the single state register of legal persons, available for public scrutiny.
(11) Changes and additions to the charters of religious organizations are subject to state registration in the same way as the registration of religious organizations, and come into force for third parties from the moment they are registered with the state.
(12) When a religious organization changes any of the data included in the single state register of legal persons it must informn the registering organ within a month from the day of the change.
REFUSAL BY THE STATE TO REGISTER A RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATION
(1) The state can refuse to register a religious organization in the following cases:
· if the aims and activity of a religious organization are linked with the infringement of the Constitution of the Russian Federation and of current laws, with references to specific articles and laws;
· the non-recognition of an organization as religious;
· when the charter and other representative documents do not conform with the demands of laws of the Russiarl Federation or when the infemiation contained therein is inauthentic;
· the presence of a previously registered organization of the same name in the single state register of legal personalities;
· when a founding member (members) is not-legally competent.
(2) The refusal of state registration to a religious organization is communicated in writing to the applicant giving the grounds for refusal. Refusal on grounds of the inexpediency of creating a religious organization is impermissible. The refusal of a registering body to grant state registration to a religious organization as well as the evasion of such registration, can be brought before a court.
REPRESENTATIVE BODIES OF FOREIGN RELIGIOUS ORCANIZATIONS
(1) A religious organizations designated as foreign if it has been created outside the contines of the Russian Federation and according to the laws of a foreign state.
(2) The right to open a representative body in the Russian Federation may be granted to a foreign religious organization. A representative body of a foreign religious organization may not engage in liturgical or other religious activities, and does not receive the status of a religious association as established by this federal law.
(3) The procedure for the registration, opening and closing of a representative bady of a religious organization is to be established by the Government of the Russian Federation in accordance with the law of the Russian Federation.
(4) In the case of a positive decision about the registration of the representabve body of a foreign religious organization, a certrficate in a form to be established by the Government of the Russian Federation is issued to the representative body of the foreign religious organization.
(5) A Russian religious organization has the right to have attached to itself a representative body of a foreign religious organization.
THE LlQUIDATlON OF A RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATION AND THE BANNING OF A RELIGIOUS ASSOCIATION'S ACTIVITIES IN THE EVENT OF THEIR BREAKING THE LAW.
(1) Religious organizations can be liquidated:
· by decision of their founders, or by the organ ernpowered to do this by a religious organization's charter;
· by a court decision in the case of frequent and gross infringement of the norms of the Constitution of the Russian Federation, or infringement of this federal law and other federal laws, or in the case of systematic activities by a religious organization which contradict the goals for which it was created (the goals in its charter).
(2) Grounds for liquidating a religious organization or for banning the activities of a religious organization or religious group by judicial order are:
· the undetermining of social order and security or threats to the security of the State;
· actions aimed at forcibly changing the foundations of the Constitutional structure or destroying the unity of the Russian Federation;
· the creation of armed units;
· propaganda of war, the igniting of social, racial, national or religious dissension or hatred betwean people;
· forcing family to disintegrate;
· the infringement of the person, the rights and freedorn of a citizen;
· the infliction of damage established in accordance with the law on the morality or health of citizens, including the use in connection with their religious activities of narcotic or psychoactive substances, hypnosis, the performing of depraved or other disorderly actions;
· encouraging suicide or the refusal on religious grounds of medical help to persons in life-endangering or health-endangering conditions;
· hindering the receiving of compulsory education;
· forcing members and followers of the religious association or other persons to alienate property which belongs to them for the use of the religious association;
· hindering a citizen frorn leaving a religious association by threatening harm to life, health, property if there is a danger of this threat's actually being carried out, or by using force or other illegal actions.
· inciting citizens to retuse to fulfill their civic obligations established by law, or to perform other disorderly actions.
(3) The organs of the procuracy of the Russian Federation and the organ carrying out the registration of religious organizations and also the organs of local govermnent have the right to bring a case to court on the liquidation of a religious organization or the banning of the activities of a religious organization or a religious group.
(4) The legal capacity of a liquidated religious organization as a legal personality ceases and the property of this religious organization is distributed in accordance with its charter and with the civic law of the Russian Federation.
(5) The grounds and procedure for the liquidation of a religious organization by decision of a court also apply to the banning of the activities of a religious group.
RIGHTS AND CONDITIONS FOR THE ACTIVITIES OF RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATIONS
INTERNAL REGULATIONS OF RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATONS
(1). Religious organizations act in accordance with their own internal regulations if these do not contradict the laws of the Russian Federation in force. They possess the legal capabilities stipulated in their charters.
(2) The State respects the internal regulationa of religious organizations if these do not contradict the laws of the Russian Federation in force.
RELIGIOUS RITES AND CEREMONIES
(1) Religious organizations have the right to found and maintain religious buldings and equipment and other places and objects specially designated for worship services, for prayer and religious gatherings, for religious veneration (pilgrimages).
(2) Worship services, religious rites and ceremonies take place without hindrance in religious buildings and structures and on their adjoining territory, in other places made available to religious organizations for these purposes, in places of pilgrimage, in institutions and at the enterprises of religious organizations. In cemeteries and crematoria, and also in residential buildings.
(3) Religious organitations have the right to carry out religious rites in health centers and hospitals, in children's homes, in old people's homes and institutions for the handicapped, and in institutions applying sentences of imprisonment for criminal offenses at the request of the citizens held there in premises specially designated by the administration for these purposes. Religious rites are pemitted in premises at places of detention under guard with the proviso thet the laws of criminal procedure of the Russian Federation are observed.
(4) Those in command of military units, while observing the requirements of military regolations, are not to hinder military personnel from participating in worship services and in other religious rituals.
(5) In other instances, public worship services, religious rites and ceremonies are to be carried out in accordance with the rules established for mass rallies, street processions and demnonstrations.
RELIGIOUS LITERATURE AND ARTICLES OF RELIGIOUS SIGNIFICANCE
(1) Religious organizations have the right to produce, acquire, export, import and distribute religious literature, printed, audio and video material and other articles of religious significance.
(2) Religious organizations have the exclusive right to institute enterprises for producing liturgical literature and articles for religious, services.
(3) Literature, printed, audio and video material issued by religious organizations, must be marked with the full official name of the said religious organization.
CHARITABLE AND CULTURAL-EDUCATIONAL ACTIVITIES OF RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATlONS
(1) Religious organizations have the right to carry out charitable activities, either directly or by instituting charitable organizations.
(2) In order to enact their charters' aims and goals religious organizations have the right in accordance with the law of the Russian Federation to create cultural-educational organizations, educational and other institutions, and also to found organs of mass media.
(3) The state is to cooperate with and support the charitable activities of religious organizations, as well as the implementation of their socially significant cultural and educationaě programs and undertakings.
INSTITUTIONS OF PROFESSIONAL RELIGIOUS EDUCATION
(1) Religious organizations in accordance with their charters have the exclusive right to create institutions for professional religious eduction (spiritual educational institutions) for preparing clergy and religios personnel.
(2) Institutions of professional religious education are subject to registration as religious organizations and are to receive state licenses for the right to carry out educational activity.
(3) Citizens who are studying as resident students in departments of professionsi religious institutions which have state licenses have the right to defer their military service in accordance with the laws on military duty and military service and to make use of other privileges granted in accordance with the laws of the Russian Federafion.
INTERNATIONAL LINKS AND CONTACTS
(1) Religious organizations have the right to establish and maintain international links and contacts, including those for the goals of pilgrimages, participation in meetings and other undertakings, (or receiving religious education, and also they have the right to invite foreign citizens for these purposes.
(2) Religious organizations heve the exclusive right to invite foreign citizens for professional purposes, including preaching and religious activity in the said organizations in accordance with federal laws.
THE RIGHT TO PROPERTY OF RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATIONS
(1) Religious organizations can own buildings, plots of land, objects for the purpose of production and for social, charitable, educational and other purposes, articles of religious significance, financial means and other property which is essential for their activity including that necessary for historical and cultural monuments.
(2) Religious organizations have the right to own property which has been acquired or created by their own means, by the donations of citizens or of organizations or tranferred to them by the State, or acquired by other means in conformity with the laws of the Russian Federation.
(3) The transfer to the ownership of religious organizations of religious buildings and constructions, with the adjoining land, and other property of religious significance for their use for functional purposes from state and municipal ownership, is to take place freecharge.
(4) Religious organizations have the right to own property abroad.
(5) Creditors may not institute proceedings against real estate or other property designated for worship purposes. The list of types of property designated for worship services, against which creditors may not institute proceedings, is to be established by the government of the Russian Federation according to the recommendations of religious organizations.
THE USE OF PROPERTY BELONGING TO THE STATE, TO ClTIZENS OR THEIR ASSOCIATIONS
(1) Religious organizations have the right to use for their own needs plots of land, buildings and property provided by state, muniapal, social and other organizations and citizens in accordance with the laws of the Russian Federation.
(2) The transfer to religious organizations, for their use according to their stated functions, of buildings or other structures for worship with the land adjoining them owned by the state or by a municipality, or of other property of religious significance owned by the state or by a municipaIity, is to take place free of charge.
BUSINESS UNDERTAKINGS OF RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATIONS
Registered religious organizations have the right to carry out business undertakings and to create their own enterprises in accordance with the law established by the civic laws of the Russian Federation.
LABOUR LAWS IN RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATIONS
(1) Religious organizations in accordance with their charters have the right to hire employees.
(2) Payment and conditions of work are established according to the laws of the Russian Federetion with a working agreement (contract) between the religious organization (employer) and the employee.
(3) Citizens who work in religious organizations according to a working agreement (contract) are subject to labor laws.
(4) Employees of religious organizations and also clergy, are to be províded social guarantees, social insurance and pension guarantees in accordance with the laws of the Russian Federation.
THE SUPERVISION AND MONITORING OF THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE LAW ON FREEDOM OF CONSCIENCE AND ON RELIGIOUS ASSOCIATlONS
IMPLEMENTATION OF SUPERVISION AND MONITORING
(1) Monitoring the Implementation of the law of The Russian Federation on freedom of conscience and on religious associations is carried out by the organs of the Procuracy of the Russlan Federation.
(2) The organ vvhich registers a religious organization monitors that organization's observance of its own charter as regards the aims and rules of its activity.
LIABILITY FOR VlOLATING THE LAW ON FREEDOM OF CONSCIENCE AND ON RELIGIOUS ASSOCIATIONS
Violation of the law of the Russian Federation on freedom of conscience and on religious associations involves criminal, administrative and other liability in accordance with the laws of the Russian Federation.
(1) This Federal law is to take effect from the day of its official publication.
(2) The Government of the Russian Federation is to adopt the necessary normative legal acts for the implementation of this Federal law.
(3) The charters and other founding documents of religious organizations established before this Federal law comes into force must be brought into conformity with this federal law. Until the charters and other founding documents of religious organizations have been brought into conformity with this federal law, only those parts of the charters and other founding documents of religious organizations remain in force which do not contradict this federal law. A religious organization may not be re-registered if there are grounds for its liquidation or prohibition of its activities as indicated in point 2 of article 14 of this federal law. When re-registration has been denied on these grounds, the registering organ is to transmit the materials to a court.
Religious organizations which do not possess a document proving their existence on the corresponding territory over the course of at least 15 years are to enjoy the rights of a legal person on the condition of re-registration every year until the expiration of the indicated 15-year period. During this period these religious organizations are not to enjoy the rights stipulated in point 4 of article 3, points 3 and 4 of article 5, point 5 of article 13, point 3 of article 16, points 1 and 2 of article 17, point 2 of article 18 (as applicable to educational institutions and mass media), article 19 and point 2 of article 20 of this federal law.
(4) The re-registration with the State of religious organizations created before this federal law has come into force must take place no later than 31 December 1999 in accordance with the requirements of this federal law.
Once this period has expired, religious organizations which have not completed re-registration may be liquidated by court order upon the appeal of the body which conducts state registration of religious organizations.
(5) Recognize as no longer in force the Law of the RSFSR "On Freedom of Religious Confession" (Gazette of the RSFSR Congress of Peoples' Deputies and of the RSFSR Supreme Soviet, 1990, No. 21, Art. 240; Collection of the Laws of the Russian Federation, 1995, No. 5 Art. 346) and the Resolution of the Supreme Soviet of the RSFSR "On Freedom of Religious Confession" (Gazette of the RSFSR Congress of Peoples' Deputies and of the RSFSR Supreme Soviet, 1990, No. 21, Art. 241) from the day when this federal law comes into force.