Orthodox Church: French Ban of Religious Symbols is "Ideological Dictatorship"

January 28, 2004

Source: Interfax


On January 28, 2004 Interfax reported, "The Russian Orthodox Church disagrees with the decision made by the French authorities to ban religions symbols in schools and universities. 'All this very much resembles the Soviet system, where children could not wear crosses in schools, but only pioneer ties could be worn,' Vsevolod Chaplin, deputy head of the External Relations Department of the Moscow Patriarchate, told Interfax on Wednesday. The attempt to ban headscarves, skullcaps, and large crosses indicates a crisis of secularism in France, he said...Chaplin said secularism is also a religion, which preaches faith in man and puts him at the center of the universe...'In this system, there is no equality of rights or true pluralism, but only ideological dictatorship,' he said."