Can the church in Russia, in the light of recent changes in legislation, pray for the world? Lawyer’s answer

Lawyer Sergei Chugunov answered the question of whether the church in Russia, in the light of recent changes in legislation, can call on parishioners to pray for peace, Christian Megaportal inVictory reports.

Article 280.3 was introduced into the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, providing for liability for public actions aimed at discrediting the use of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation in order to protect the interests of the Russian Federation and its citizens, maintain international peace and security, including public calls to prevent the use of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation. Federations for the indicated purposes, committed by a person after he was brought to administrative responsibility for a similar act within one year, the post says. – That is, criminal liability can occur only after being brought under an administrative article, and only in the event of a repeated violation that occurred during the year.

For this purpose, Article 20.3.3 was introduced into the Code of Administrative Offenses of the Russian Federation, which provides for liability for public actions aimed at discrediting the use of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation in order to protect the interests of the Russian Federation and its citizens, maintain international peace and security, including public calls for preventing the use of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation for the specified purposes, if these actions do not contain signs of a criminally punishable act.

The rules came into force on March 4, 2022. The criminal norm has no retroactive effect, but with the administrative one it is more difficult. If the words were posted on the Internet before these amendments, but are still there, then law enforcement officers consider such an offense to be continuing, and you may be held liable in such circumstances.

Given that the wording is rather vague, one can expect persecution for various calls: “No to war” and the like, as for discrediting the use of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation.

To answer this question, let’s look at the law. As can be seen from the wording of the norms of the Criminal Code and the Code of Administrative Offenses, one of the purposes of using the armed forces is “maintaining international peace and security.” Therefore, to pray for the world and call to pray for the world, so to speak, is quite acceptable. However, it cannot be ruled out that calls for peace in a certain context can be regarded as punishable acts. But how it will be in practice, time will tell.

“Therefore, churches, given the above, need to be careful in the wording of prayers and calls to pray for the world. No matter how strange it all sounds, but we live in such a time. However, any censorship breeds creativity,” the post emphasized.

Source; Может ли церковь в России в свете последних изменений в законодательстве молиться за мир? Ответ адвоката | Новости inVictory